With Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown determined to clear her name by rotating the board at today’s annual general meeting, former acting Eskom CEO Matshela Koko’s fate now lies in the hands of the new board members Brown is expected to install this morning.
The Gupta-owned broadsheet, The New Age, reported yesterday that the investigation, conducted by Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, appeared to have “cleared” the former group executive of improper conduct.
Koko, who served for a few months in the capacity of acting group CEO, was embroiled in a scandal involving his stepdaughter receiving a multimillion-rand tender from Eskom through a company she was a director of.
Despite Koko living with Koketso Choma under the same roof, he claimed ignorance when queried on his knowledge of his stepdaughter’s links to Impulse International, a company that netted close to a billion rand in contracts from Eskom.
Collin Cruywagen, communications chief for public enterprises, confirmed to The Citizen the minister may exercise her prerogative to reshuffle the board as a way of bringing “new skills and expertise into Eskom”, as she had previously stated her intention to do so.
Cruywagen said the current board in its twilight hour received the report, but refused to discuss the contents of the report, saying it was an operational matter. He said the minister herself would only receive the report when the board had considered it and express their recommendations.
A source with intimate knowledge of the horse-trading scenario at Megawatt Park dismissed speculation that Koko’s star may rise as a result of the report “clearing” him, primarily because the processing of the report and decision making would be influenced by the new board members.
The new board is likely to tighten the screw on those with shady links to the Gupta family, with both the ruling party and parliament having denounced the damaging effects of the #GuptaEmails and alleged state capture.
Energy expert and longtime crusader against corruption at Eskom Chris Yelland told The Business Day that Johnny Dladla, announced yesterday as the acting CEO, declined an invitation to meet the Gupta family as suggested to him by some senior executives and board members.
“I have a high regard for him. Many people in Eskom who have been appalled by [former CEO] Brian Molefe and [former acting CEO] Matshela Koko are very relieved over his appointment and think he is the right person for the job,” Yelland said.