According to the report, Koketso Choma, 26, graduated only three years ago and was appointed director at Impulse International last year. Picture: Facebook
Johannesburg – The Democratic Alliance will ask Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane to launch an investigation into Eskom acting CEO Matshela Koko for allegedly awarding tenders worth R1 billion to Impulse International, a company of which his stepdaughter is a director, the party said on Sunday.

"Impulse International was awarded eight contracts by Eskom’s generation unit during Koko’s tenure as the unit’s group executive," DA spokeswoman Natasha Mazzone said.

"Koko’s reported actions could show that he is compromised and unfit to be the head of Eskom. By claiming that he was not aware that his [step]daughter was involved with Impulse International Koko inadvertently admits that he failed in his role as the chief accounting officer to conduct due diligence on the company profile of a potential Eskom service provider," she said.

This potentially meant that Eskom violated state procurement guidelines set out by National Treasury to guide the acquisition of services by state-owned enterprises (SOEs) under Koko’s stewardship.

"The DA will ensure that the rot at Eskom is laid bare and all those implicated held accountable. It can never be acceptable that while Eskom is struggling to raise capital for some of its power generation projects needed to grow our economy its managers could be busy siphoning cash to benefit family members," Mazzone said.

Earlier on Sunday, the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) also urged the public protector to investigate the allegations of corruption against Koko. “Public confidence in state institutions is eroded by allegations of state capture and perceptions that state-owned enterprises (SoEs) are cash cows for the elite, the politically connected, their cronies, and families,” Sanco national spokesman Jabu Mahlangu said.

Inaction on the part of SoE boards and principals supposed to be holding SoEs accountable were reinforcing perceptions that there was no political will to stamp out the rising tide of corruption, he said. Mahlangu called on the Eskom board to lay corruption charges against Koko and suspend him pending the outcome of the investigation by the public protector. “The allegations that Impulse International was awarded eight lucrative contracts from a division of Eskom that Koko headed up until he became acting CEO at the power utility warrants decisive action,” he said.

The Sunday Times reported that Koko’s stepdaughter had scored contracts worth R1 billion for her company from the parastatal.

According to the report, Koketso Choma, 26, graduated only three years ago and was appointed director at Impulse International last year. The company had since then been awarded eight lucrative contracts by the Eskom division Koko headed before being appointed acting CEO.

The newspaper reported Koko claims that, although his stepdaughter lives with him, he was unaware of her position as a director at Impulse until recently.