Eskom's head of generation Matshela Koko. File picture: Bheki Radebe
Cape Town - Eskom head of generation Matshela Koko was given a reprieve by the Labour Court on Friday after it blocked attempts by Eskom to fire him until his application is heard early next month.

Eskom acting chief executive Phakamani Hadebe had given Koko an ultimatum to resign or be fired by this week, and he rushed to the Labour Court to block the move.

Koko would have added to the list of senior officials at Eskom to go following the decision by the Presidency last Saturday for the new board, chaired by Jabu Mabuza, to remove all officials implicated in corruption.

This week former Eskom chief financial officer Anoj Singh resigned. He was followed by acting head of group capital Prish Govender and senior manager for outages Dhiraj Bhimma yesterday. Acting commercial manager Charles Kalima also left this week.

In his court papers Koko said he would not go, and said Eskom had no right to fire him.

He said the power utility would be wrong to do such and Hadebe had no authority to ask him to resign or be fired.

This followed Hadebe’s ultimatum on Thursday that Koko had to resign by yesterday or be shown the door.

Koko said he was “interdicting and restraining Eskom from issuing any further ultimatum to (him).”

The court granted Koko the order barring Eskom from removing him from the power utility until the matter is heard in court on February 6.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Koko was facing tough questions in Parliament over his role in the multi-million rand contracts awarded to the Guptas. He denied any links to the Guptas.

Singh was also roasted by the public enterprises committee that is investigating Eskom, and he was blasted by MPs for his alleged role in signing off deals worth hundreds of millions of rand without processes.

Koko was recently cleared by a disciplinary committee for awarding his stepdaughter, Koketso Choma, a contract of R1billion.

The Guptas have been accused of siphoning off billions of rand from the power utility in the past few years.

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe was this week ordered by the High Court in Pretoria to pay back R11 million from a pension payout from Eskom within 10 days.

This followed the decision by the company to pay Molefe R30m last year, which led to a huge public outcry and court action. Molefe was not paid the full amount, but R11m.

He had resigned from his job in 2016 after the release of the State of Capture report by then public protector Thuli Madonsela.

Political Bureau