Koko 'told Brian Molefe about conflict of interest'

26 November 2017 - 12:44 By Neo Goba
Matshela Koko.
Matshela Koko.
Image: Gallo Images / Madelene Cronjé

Suspended acting Eskom CEO Matshela Koko has been accused of failing to follow proper internal declaration procedures to alert Eskom to a conflict of interest which has resulted in him facing disciplinary procedures.

However Koko has hit back‚ saying he told Brian Molefe‚ who was CEO before him‚ about the conflict of interest involving a company in which his stepdaughter had shares. Eskom's acting Ethics Manager and Head of Governance‚ Alison Seckle‚ testified in Koko’s disciplinary hearing on Saturday and spoke about Eskom’s internal declaration procedures.

Koko is facing six charges of misconduct relating mainly to his failure to declare a conflict of interest concerning contracts worth about R1-billion which were awarded to Impulse International‚ a company of which his stepdaughter‚ Koketso Choma‚ 26‚ was a shareholder and director.

Choma's company was doing business with Eskom Generation when Koko was head of the unit.

"In the last documented disclosure that we have according to Eskom's policy was on June 8 2016‚ when Mr Koko became aware of the conflict of interest‚ he should have captured it on the e-form system‚" said Seckle.

"As I indicated during the testimony‚ that we from the ethics office and other offices use that information. We go into the system and download that information so that we can check conflicts against the agenda items and he did not do so in a proper manner. It's unusual because in all the other previous years he had done [disclosed] but and this particular interest‚ he did not do so‚" she said.

Seckle pointed out that because it was a "clear" conflict of interest‚ Koko‚ who was more knowledgeable as he occupied a senior position‚ would have surely wanted to capture the interests on the systems to have a record of it.

During the cross examination‚ Koko's legal representative‚ Advocate Louwrens Malan‚ argued that Koko had disclosed this conflict of interest to then Eskom acting CEO Brian Molefe who should have been responsible for declaring his interests on the system as he was his line manager.

"If there's a conflict of interest that exists‚ you are always required to make a declaration through his line manager and in this case it was Mr Molefe. So the reason why‚ in terms of Eskom's policy‚ the declaration has to be made through the line manager is because his manager is responsible for the employee. Now once this disclosure is made‚ it would then not be unreasonable to expect the line manager to see that it gets into the system whether it’s filed‚ copied and scanned to get into Eskom's system‚" he argued.

However‚ Seckle told Malan that Eskom's system notifies the person who had initially made the declaration on the system via email so if it came back "approved"‚ it would have required Koko to capture it himself on the system.

Koko is yet to testify.

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