Koko says he's 'moved on', despite Eskom court victory | Fin24
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Koko says he's 'moved on', despite Eskom court victory

Feb 22 2018 16:10
Tehillah Niselow

Johannesburg - The Labour Court on Wednesday ruled in favour of controversial former Eskom executive Matshela Koko, but he said it was too little too late and that he has already moved on.

Judge Graham Moshoana ruled that Eskom’s attempt to fire Koko, based on a directive from then Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa without first giving him an opportunity to state his case, was unlawful.

Koko resigned from Eskom on Friday, on the same day his disciplinary hearing was due to start

Moshoana granted the urgent interdict, days after Koko submitted a resignation letter to the second disciplinary process he faced within several months.

The court judgment found interim Eskom CEO Phakamani Hadebe breached section 3.2 of the parastatal’s disciplinary code, which states that "no disciplinary action shall be instituted against an employee unless he/she is afforded a proper opportunity to state his/her case and to defend him/herself against any allegations”.

Eskom confirmed that Koko was given a 24-hour ultimatum on January 25 to resign or be fired.

Koko took the matter to the Labour Court on an urgent basis and Eskom was blocked from terminating his contract. The state-owned company’s suspension letter to Koko claimed he had jumped the gun by approaching the Labour Court, and that he had other legal remedies.

He was suspended several days later and faced four new charges, including misleading the state capture inquiry in Parliament, leaking confidential information to a Gupta associate and accepting a trip to Dubai from people close to the Gupta family.

The former acting CEO and head of generation then submitted his resignation letter last Friday, citing strain on his family, but denied any wrongdoing relating to the charges.

Moshoana stated that Eskom's claims that Koko was suspended based on the fact that he posed an operational risk to the power utility as he was perceived to be the “face of corruption” by lenders, was incorrect as he was only later charged with misconduct.

Hadebe said in his replying affidavit to the court that Koko's continued presence at Eskom had the potential of placing the entire economy in crisis if Eskom defaulted on its government guaranteed debt.

The court found that Koko's attempted dismissal was in fact due to a directive from the Presidency a few days earlier, instructing the utility to remove tainted executives.

However Koko, who has worked at Eskom for over 30 years, will not be returning to work following the judgment in his favour, He told Fin24 that he has “moved on”. 

“I have made my point, I have protected thousands of employees who would have suffered a similar fate to me," he said. “I have given it [Eskom] my best, I’m proud of it as are many people."

 Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said the “matter is now closed” as Koko resigned on Friday.

 Koko was granted the costs of the case, as both parties had agreed that costs should follow the results

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labour court  |  eskom  |  matshela koko


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