Former Eskom Acting CEO Matshela Koko appeared appeared before the Zondo commission. Picture: Bheki Radebe/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Former Eskom Acting CEO Matshela Koko appeared appeared before the Zondo commission. Picture: Bheki Radebe/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

I come here to assist you to get to the truth, Matshela Koko tells Zondo commission

By Kailene Pillay Time of article published May 5, 2021

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Johannesburg - Former Eskom executive and acting chief executive Matshela Koko on Tuesday complained about the Zondo Commission’s investigators and legal team, and claimed other witnesses had been treated better.

Koko accused the commission’s legal team and investigators of following up swiftly on evidence against him while his own evidence had been sidelined.

He was referring to former Eskom head of legal Susanne Daniels. He claimed Daniels, among others, lied to the commission during her testimony. Koko raised serious grievances with the commission, claiming that many witnesses had been allowed to appear before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo and lie about their alleged dealings with the Gupta family and its associates.

Koko returned to the stand before the inquiry for the sixth time on Tuesday, where he was questioned on his alleged role in the questionable R1.6 billion contract paid to McKinsey and Gupta-linked Regiment/Trillian.

Koko denied knowing Gupta associate Salim Essa but claimed it was Daniels who had e-mail exchanges with Essa. He questioned why the commission's investigators had not yet seized Daniels’ computer, which he said would prove her link to Essa.

Koko told the Commission that Daniels “blind copied” Essa in e-mail correspondence between them. He said he had no knowledge that Essa was copied in on the e-mails, and that the commission’s evidence-leaders would know this if Daniels’ computer was secured.

Koko also said Daniels had lied about the extent of her involvement in corrupt dealings at the parastatal.

"It cannot be that witnesses come here to mislead you and get away with murder. I come here to assist you to get to the truth,” Koko told Zondo.

He said there needed to be consequences for those who lied to the commission, and accused it of protecting Daniels.

Justice Zondo, who took exception to Koko’s views, instructed evidence-leader Advocate Pule Seleka to ensure that the commission's investigators and legal team met with Koko’s lawyers by the end of Tuesday to address his grievances.

He said Koko was allowed to expose witnesses for lying if he had evidence to support his claim. Justice Zondo said there should not be a perception that the commission did not want to look into certain matters.

Previously, Koko had claimed that President Cyril Ramaphosa had interfered in the affairs of the power utility by instructing the board to dismiss him. He also claimed the commission was getting it all wrong because it was on a “Koko hunt”.

“If you were not targeting me, if you were not on a ‘Koko hunt’ you might get the right answers,” he said.

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Political Bureau

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