18 January 2018

South Africa: Koko Golden Handshake Would Prove Eskom Rewards Bad Behaviour

press release

The reports today that Eskom is currently in secret talks with its former Acting CEO, Matshela Koko, to negotiate a suitable financial package upon his exit, is nothing less than an attempt to reward bad behaviour.

The truth is that Koko has been heavily implicated in the capture of Eskom and is yet to be held fully accountable for this.

Koko's disciplinary hearing, clearing him of all charges relating to misconduct, was nothing less than a sham. Eskom is in financial disarray and cannot afford to award individuals allegedly involved in corruption and State Capture with a "golden handshake".

Eskom continues to be marred by controversy and lurches from one crisis to the next. Just this week, the JSE threatened to suspend the utility's bonds because it had failed to publish its six-month interim results by the December 2017 deadline. This is clearly a state entity that is characterised by a leadership crisis.

To now award this performance or allegations of looting with a golden handshake is quite frankly an insult to the people of South Africa.

Koko has faced a host of damning allegations of financial mismanagement and corruption, including:

Allegedly awarding lucrative Eskom contracts worth R1 billion to Impulse International, a company connected to his stepdaughter;

His alleged role in orchestrating a R1.6 billion payment to McKinsey and Gupta-associated, Trillian; and

He apparently approved a R650 million loan from Eskom to Tegeta, in order to ensure that the Guptas purchased Optimum.

Eskom must not, under any circumstances, pay Koko to go away, he is not entitled to any benefits. It is inconceivable that the power utility would even consider it appropriate to pay Koko a cent of public money.

The DA will not stand for those implicated to be corrupt and compromised to be paid off with money that can provide education to the poor and relief to the vulnerable. We will await Koko's appearance before the committee on Wednesday, 23 January, where he can definitely expect a grilling.

Natasha Mazzone MP

DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises

South Africa

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