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My conscience is clear, says Koko on fresh suspension, new charges

Jan 31 2018 22:08
Tehillah Niselow and Iavan Pijoos

Johannesburg - Eskom executive Matshela Koko has been suspended - again.

Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe confirmed the suspension saying he "just spoke to the CEO and I can confirm that Matshela has been suspended".

Phasiwe was responding to a tweet from Koko where he announced the suspension and that fresh charges had been brought against him.

"I welcome these developments and once again look forward to clearing my name in a tribunal," his tweet read. 

Phasiwe said the charges were in addition to the charges he faced at the Labour Court. 

"In terms of the letter that was given to him today, I won't be able to go into detail to it. This is an internal matter and he wants to go public about it," he said.

Koko, who was reinstated as Eskom's head of generation on 3 January after he was cleared of wrongdoing in a disciplinary hearing in December, rejected the new board's ultimatum to resign within 24 hours or be fired.

He has instead taken the matter on an urgent basis to the Labour Court, which issued an interim order restraining Eskom from firing him on Friday 26 January.

His charges in his disciplinary hearing in December included his alleged failure to declare a conflict of interest while his stepdaughter Koketso Choma was a director at Impulse International, a firm which benefited from about R1bn worth of contracts awarded by Eskom over 11 months. He was suspended in August.

Koko told Fin24 by phone on Wednesday evening that he has "a clean conscience".

"I walk with my chin up… I am a victim,” Koko told Fin24.

He said that he welcomes every opportunity to clear his name and that he wants the disciplinary hearing to be open to the media as ultimately people will decide who is telling the truth.

He said the letter of suspension doesn’t include a date for the disciplinary hearing and he was unable to detail his charges due to the terms of his suspension.

On 20 January, the government appointed a new 13-member board, with Jabu Mabuza as the new chairperson and Phakamani Hadebe as the new interim CEO. The government also demanded that the board remove all executives who face allegations of corruption, including then chief financial officer Anoj Singh and Koko.

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