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My blood is Eskom blue - Koko

Jan 24 2018 18:54
Lameez Omarjee

Cape Town - In his opening address to the portfolio committee on public enterprises, Eskom executive Matshela Koko shared that he made efforts to squash corruption at the power utility.

“I have been working for Eskom for 23 years. My association with Eskom is over 31 years. Eskom took me to high school, took me to university. I have only worked for Eskom… My blood is Eskom blue.”

After being appointed to executive level in November 2014, by then CEO Tshediso Matona. Three months later (March 2015) he was suspended for a period of four months, he recalled.

The reason given that power delivery was compromised. “I was suspended because the board thought that me and my colleagues were sabotaging the country because of load-shedding.”

Koko said that these reasons were not truthful. “I told the board the reasons they are giving me, are not what I am being suspended… I knew why I was being suspended. I was being suspended for refusing to take unlawful instructions from the chairman at the time Zola Tsotsi.”

He returned to Eskom in July 2015, when Brian Molefe was chief executive. “Load shedding was at its worst. It was costing the country R400m per day.” Molefe had met the Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi to deal with the situation.

He then detailed the situation regarding the Optimum Coal Mine, which was owned by Glencore [JSE:GLN] at the time. Glencore eventually reached a decision to go into business rescue.

“I share this history, because until then, Koko was not in Eskom. I was in suspension by Zola Tsotsi for allegedly sabotaging the country with load shedding, when the real reasons were different,” he said.

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