Matona has 'no idea' why he was suspended

Matona has 'no idea' why he was suspended

2015-03-26 15:31

Johannesburg - Eskom’s suspended CEO Tshediso Matona hurriedly left the courtroom at the Labour Court in Braamfontein, Johannesburg after Judge Benita Witcher reserved judgment in his application to have the court set aside his suspension.

This follows a long day of arguments between Eskom and Matona, during which Matona's lawyers asked the court to agree that his suspension was unfair and unlawful and rule that he should return to work.

Matona’s lawyer Advocate Andrew Redding SC argued that in his suspension notice, his client was only informed that there was going to be an inquiry into the “possibility that power delivery may be compromised by intentional or negligent conduct”.

Redding said this after Eskom’s lawyer Advocate Paul Kennedy SC said there were indeed grounds for Matona’s suspension.

Kennedy said that as the chief executive of Eskom, Matona had not been helpful to the government’s War Room, the high-level task team headed by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and which was formed to deal with power crisis. He added that Matona had frustrated their work.

He said the War Room has raised concerns about the "unreliable information" they were provided with by Eskom's management.

"This was frustrating the work of the board, trying to steer leadership. The War Room can't solve the problem because it is not getting adequate information," Kennedy said.

"In one month the CEO is saying that the financial position of Eskom is rosy, and next he said it was not good."

Kennedy said Matona was suspended after concerns raised by the board.

"There is the belief that the CEO has been negligent or derilict in providing reliable information to the war room. But (Matona) is saying now: 'Don't worry, send me back so I can continue providing unreliable information to the War Room," he said.

Matona, however, believes his suspension was unfair and unlawful and has asked the court to set it aside so that he could return to work.

Redding said Matona's suspension letter was probably "pre-written" before he was suspended on March 9.

He said his client had attend the meeting that day, knowing that the only item on the agenda was a proposed resolution for an independent inquiry into the affairs of Eskom.

"It is not clear as to why, if you are going to investigate the affairs of an organisation, you suspend executives," Redding said.
He said Matona was not furnished with clear reasons for his suspension.

Redding also submitted that Eskom flaunted its own disciplinary code of conduct and did not afford Matona an opportunity to defend himself.

"He was not given the right to be heard, understand the allegations against him, or be able to respond," he said.

Redding said there was no justifiable reason to think that if he stayed at work, Matona would interfere with the investigation into Eskom affairs.

He said Matona's reputation was suffering and his dignity was hurt as a result of his suspension.

“There is no demonstrable harm and reasons that if he returns to work Eskom would suffer massively economically and in terms of its reputation and functions,” Redding said.

Matona was also in court. He read through court papers and turned to pages directed to the court by his lawyer. He stood up during the tea break adjournment to chat to a woman and a man who had come to court to support him.

But after the lunch break, Matona appeared less relaxed and stared straight at Kennedy as he tore into his case. He folded his arms and then stretched them on the bench’s long backrest, but he did not once take his eyes off his employer's lawyer.

Meanwhile, the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration has confirmed that a date will be set for a hearing after Matona approached it challenging his suspension which he believes is “unfair”.

  • Martin Reynolds - 2015-03-26 15:39

    Wow!! He ran Eskom into the ground and he doesn't know why he's suspended...? That is seriously thick skinned if you ask me!

      Made Inthe-South - 2015-03-26 17:00

      Matona has been in the position for about 6 months.But it does not matter who they put there.It will be a ZANC cadre,implementing the ZANC policy platform.This country belongs to the cadres

      robespear - 2015-03-26 17:03

      Give Matona some respect: He is honestly trying to sort Eskom out and his transparent approach that he started with was commendable. His request for an audit of the tenders department likewise. Pity he was shot down by that cabal of thieves in Parli that were about to be exposed.

      Jurgen Hartmann - 2015-03-26 17:34

      Because you're another lightweight bee idiotcadre. Now do you understand?

      John Sput - 2015-03-26 18:02

      .....Matona had not been helpful to government's War Room (please note upper case to dramatise their earnestness). Jesus Christ, which other country would refer to a "War Room" for their power utility. These guy are really living in lala land. Are they going to start wearing military-style battle fatigues and salute all the cadres in the "War Room"? Don't forget to leopard-crawl back to your chauffeur-driven Mercedes after you've purchased your barrel of chicken from KFC.

      Chris Nortje - 2015-03-27 06:00

      He requested that tenders should be investigated. The ANC have their fingers in the pie with those tenders. This is all general knowledge. Any reasonable man will be able to figure out why this man was suspended. Our government is run by a crime ring. But please keep voting for the ANC, morons.

      fargone - 2015-03-27 12:37

      Something fishy...but to answer the question, the answer is twofold: Step 1: Have a look at your bank balance! Step 2: Have a look at Eksdoms Performance under your um, err guidance! the steps could be added to, but start joining the points and you will get the picture

  • Mark Crozier - 2015-03-26 15:46

    Either you were too honest or too crooked, one of the two.

  • sam.e.scapes - 2015-03-26 15:48

    He started getting to close to investigating the 4x inflated BEE coal tenders. The cadres will do anything to keep their place at the trough even though we as a country are sinking fast. We the consumer gets to pay for these deals and one of these days in the not distant future it will just be too expensive to afford. The greed is mind boggling.

      Leeto Leeto - 2015-03-26 16:46

      His suspense comes after he mentioned that they will be investigating tenders worth over R300m, for irregularities, he did not run down Eskom, those who suspended him did..

  • Roy Saunt - 2015-03-26 15:56

    He never had the qualification to run Eskom anyway. Another of the 'no crisis" brigade. He most probably will still walk away with a very handsome settlement.

  • Joe Coetzee - 2015-03-26 16:08

    Of course he did not know. Amazing Africa trait. Nobody is ever accountable ( except Jan van Riebeeck) and nobody ever knows why things went wrong. They only know how to take the money.

  • Nico Louw - 2015-03-26 16:26

    Just brilliant , neither what he was supposed to do in management !

  • Leeto Leeto - 2015-03-26 16:48

    Strange his suspension comes a day after he mentioned they will investigate tenders worth R300m+ , this means those who suspended him and his team, have their hands in the cookie jar, they need time to remove them and wipe their lips...

      Ockie Schoeman - 2015-03-26 17:48

      Agree, i smell a rat! It's actually to be expected from this presidency.

      sam.e.scapes - 2015-03-26 20:01

      I'm thinking you are right.

  • Paul Nel - 2015-03-26 16:55

    Does he have an idea about anything? Bloated with his big salary and fat lifestyle

  • Piet die Muskiet - 2015-03-26 16:58

    And also doesn't know why Eskom is in the state it is...

  • POPEYE - 2015-03-26 18:00

    I think he's just to dumb to realize he was suspended.

  • Ernie van Biljon - 2015-03-26 18:50

    If was his colour with his connections, I'd also be surprised!

  • Ernie van Biljon - 2015-03-26 18:52

    If I was his colour ......

  • Catcha Wakeup - 2015-03-26 20:52

    Because like your predecessor know nothing about power stations either.

  • Sejal Bhana - 2015-03-27 02:34

    Begs the question whether or not Zola Tsotsi took any legal advice from Eskom's in-house lawyers on the disciplinary code of Eskom which sets out the correct procedures to follow before suspending an employee. Seems Zola believed his is God and laws dont apply to him

  • gavin.allchurch1 - 2015-03-27 06:25

    So , Eksdom,... Why have you got a white lawyer? ,... Suddenly now it's good enough to have a whitey..... Funny isn't it ??... Now you need expertise ... Call a white oke ...

  • ThePissedOffNative - 2015-03-27 08:09

    Stage one loadshedding in progress in case you forgot Mr Matona..

  • Sage Wiseman - 2015-03-27 12:19

    We have no idea why he was appointed !

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