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Matshela Koko's stepdaughter nets R1bn in Eskom contracts

Mar 26 2017 12:13
Kyle Venktess, Fin24

Johannesburg - Stepdaughter of Eskom’s acting CEO, Matshela Koko netted at least R1bn in contracts awarded to her company in the past 11 months.

According to a report by the Sunday Times, Koketso Choma, who graduated just three years ago, was appointed as a director at Impulse International last year.

Since then, Impulse International scored 9 contracts awarded by Eskom. 

Eskom told Fin24 on Sunday that when Koko became aware of his stepdaughter’s involvement in Impulse International, in August last year, he had asked her to resign. 

READ: Eskom boss blames board for B2B fiasco

“Koko became aware of his stepdaughter’s involvement in Impulse International, upon which Mr Koko requested his twenty-seven-year-old stepdaughter, Ms Choma, who is a qualified Chartered Accountant, to resign as a director and shareholder,” Eskom said in a statement. 

“This was duly done by Ms Choma in September and October 2016. Thus no legal obligation for Mr Koko to declare his interest,” Eskom added. 

Choma was also a beneficiary and trustee of a Mokoni Trust, which has an interest in Impulse International. 

However, Eskom said Koko instructed her to resign and at the same time he submitted an updated declaration of interest as required.

Eskom told Fin24 that the parastal does not award contracts to subcontractors. 

READ: Eskom reveals which countries will bid for nuclear deal

“The subcontracting party would be at the election of the main contractor where Eskom allowed for such subcontracting. We are aware of subcontracting arrangements with PB Power and ABB who can be contacted for further information,” Eskom said.  

Eskom also denied allegations that Koko had instructed Frans Sithole, a project director at the Kusile Power Station in 2015, to ensure that Impulse International gets work from Kusile after their services were terminated at Medupi power station.

“Mr Sithole confirms that Mr Koko has not instructed him to ensure Impulse International gets a job at Kusile. The project team decided during the difficult times in construction to engage various Consultants which included Impulse International to come on board to turnaround the delivery of Kusile 1.

“All Eskom processes were followed to engage the project execution consultants, including Impulse International. Unit 1 was delivered 8 months ahead of the re-baselined schedule and the project team decided to continue with the project execution consultants,” they said in a statement. 

The power utility said it had a contract with Impulse International at Medupi Power Station which expired in December 2014.

PP must probe Koko - DA

Responding to the news, the DA said it will write to the Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, to launches an investigation into Koko, was appointed acting CEO in November last year, after previous CEO Brian Molefe resigned.

"Koko’s reported actions could show that he is compromised and unfit to be the head of Eskom," said DA MP Natasha Mazzone.

"By claiming that he was not aware that his 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 the DA believes that this news could be one of the reasons why the Eskom board has been reluctant to release the Denton report, which was commissioned by the Eskom board in 2015.

Dentons, the law firm appointed to conduct an audit into the status of the business and challenges experienced by Eskom, identified serious cause for concern regarding the manner in which Eskom awarded contracts for the supply of diesel and coal, among other shortcomings.

According to the report, some of the contractors - who benefitted from the nearly R30bn that Eskom spent on diesel for its open cycle gas turbines between 2013 and 2015 - were companies that had no footprint in the industry and that may have been set up by Eskom employees themselves, News24 reported.

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