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Koko: I will go to work on Monday and wait and see

Jan 20 2018 19:51
Tehillah Niselow

Johannesburg - Former acting Eskom CEO and head of generation Matshela Koko said he heard the news of his removal “as everyone else did” and he will wait for the board to advise him of government’s decision.

“I’m an employee, I don’t comment on issues of government…I will go to work on Monday and wait and see,” he told Fin24 by phone.

Government made widespread changes to Eskom’s board and top management on Saturday, announcing that Koko and Eskom’s suspended chief financial officer Anoj Singh would be removed immediately, as well as all other Eskom executives who are facing allegations of corruption.

Acting CEO Sean Maritz will be replaced with immediate effect by former Land Bank CEO and Absa Capital executive Phakamani Hadebe, and the government wants the board to appoint a permanent CEO and CFO within three months.

Telkom CEO Jabu Mabuza is the new chairperson of the power utility’s board after recently re-appointed chair Zethembe Khoza resigned on Friday “in the interest of the country”.

Koko was reinstated as head of generation earlier in January, after being found not guilty by the parastatal’s internal disciplinary hearing, chaired by advocate Mzungulu Mthombeni.

The process was criticised as being a sham by the Democratic Alliance (DA).

Koko was found not guilty of all six charges of misconduct he faced, which included the claim that he’d allegedly failed to declare a conflict of interest after a company in which his stepdaughter Koketso Choma, was a director, Impulse International, was awarded a R1 billion tender by a division he oversaw.

City Press reported that the inquiry relied on his testimony that he’d submitted documents revealing his conflict of interest to former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe and former Eskom chair Ben Ngubane. Neither of them were called to the inquiry and no evidence of the memoranda being sent was found on the parastatal’s intranet. Koko and Singh are set to testify next week before the parliamentary inquiry into allegations of state capture at Eskom.

New Eskom CEO

Koko’s successor, Hadebe is a well-regarded banker and public servant. He resigned as head of client at Absa Corporate and Investment Banking in March 2017, which the bank said was due to "personal reasons". He joined Absa in 2014.

Around 20 black professionals reportedly staged a walkout in May last year, during the announcement of leadership changes claiming Hadebe has been passed over for the position of head of corporate and investment banking (CIB).

The bank denied this was in protest against its transformation policies and said Hadebe was a well-liked employee and people were emotional at his departure. Hadebe was credited for turning around the Land Bank in his previous role as CEO.

He was seconded by National Treasury to the Land Bank in 2008 and he was appointed CEO shortly afterwards.

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