Former Eskom executive Matshela Koko has denied he lied about sending emails with confidential Eskom information to Gupta-linked third parties. Koko was appearing before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.
Koko was hard pressed to explain what he meant when he admitted to have sent emails to an account named Business Man, but that he was under the impression the address belonged to former Eskom board chair Ben Ngubane and not Gupta family associate Salim Essa.
Central to the plot was an anonymous email address named Business Man or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The first hour of Koko’s appearance at the commission was spent dealing with Koko’s account of the events surrounding the emails which were sent by him and others to email@example.com, the address linked to Essa, Ngubane and Duduzane Zuma in various reports on the matter.
In 2018, the national Treasury published a Fundizi Forensic Specialists final investigation report into financial irregularities at Eskom and Transnet relating to several high level contracts linked to state capture. #GuptaLeaks revealed the “businessman” was linked to Gupta business associate Salim Essa and former director-general of the Department of Public Enterprises Richard Seleke.
The email address formed a central part of revelations in the #Guptaleaks stories in 2017 revealing damning information mined from a leaked Gupta email server. They also were the subject of a private forensic investigation into financial irregularities at Eskom which recommended the Hawks investigate Koko and two other former Eskom executives for leaking private Eskom information to the benefit of third parties.
The report found that former head of generation Koko, former head of legal Susan Daniel and Eskom chair Ben Ngubane may have leaked confidential information to this email address.
Koko’s attorney, Asger Gani, told Fundizi investigators at the time that Koko did not accept the email belonged to Essa. He said Daniels gave him the email address, which he believed belonged to Ngubane.