Expensive temper tantrum for Koko disciplinary hearing lawyer ​

22 October 2017 - 00:00 By MZILIKAZI wa AFRIKA and KYLE COWAN
Axed Eskom evidence leader Sebetja Matsaung.
Axed Eskom evidence leader Sebetja Matsaung.
Image: Supplied

A temper tantrum this week put an end to lawyer Sebetja Matsaung’s lead role in a disciplinary hearing into  suspended Eskom executive Matshela Koko — but not before Matsaung had billed the power  utility handsomely for his work.

A legal expert said the R804,000 that Matsaung billed Eskom for work done between August 12 and 30 “equates to robbery”.

Eskom fired Matsaung on Saturday following his altercation with a reporter after the disciplinary hearing had been adjourned on Friday night. The axing also followed complaints by several senior employees to Eskom executives earlier in the week, in which they called for him to be fired  because of his unprofessional treatment of witnesses.

A copy of an invoice Matsaung submitted to Eskom, which the Sunday Time has seen, shows he charged the utility more than R50,000 a day to prepare for the case. 

He billed Eskom R20,000 a day  for  his services and about R30,000 a day for an attorney, an advocate and a researcher.

If he continued to work at the same rate, this would mean Eskom  would be billed R3.4-million for his services as of Saturday, when he was axed.

A senior advocate, who did not want to be named, said the invoice was “overkill for a disciplinary hearing, which is a pedestrian matter”.

Matsaung told the  Sunday Times the figure was incorrect and that he had invoiced “far less than that”.

“I still need to review my invoice, but I haven’t been paid anything by Eskom yet,” he said.

Koko’s hearing began on Wednesday. He has been charged with awarding  tenders to a company in which his stepdaughter was a director.

Read the full story on the Sunday Times website