Law firm's Eskom probe urges action over 'lying' Koko

25 June 2017 - 00:05 By MZILIKAZI WA AFRIKA and SABELO SKITI

Former Eskom acting CEO Matshela Koko must face a disciplinary hearing after the power utility awarded contracts worth more than R1-billion to a company associated with his stepdaughter, Koketso Choma.
The Sunday Times understands that a report by law firm Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, submitted to Eskom this week, recommended such a hearing and said all contracts Eskom awarded to Impulse International after Choma joined the company should be investigated.
The law firm's investigators believe there is prima facie evidence that Koko tried to lie to them about the extent to which Choma was involved with Impulse International.
They also found that on March 22 last year, two days after Impulse International agreed to appoint Choma as a nonexecutive director, Eskom awarded the company a R63-million contract.
Most of the contracts Eskom awarded to Impulse International were on an emergency basis or without a bidding process or proper tender procedures, according to investigators.
Impulse International CEO Pragasen Pather refused to comment yesterday beyond saying: "You ruined my business, carry on writing what you want."
One contentious issue is how Koko met Pather. A businessman, who asked not to be named, claims that Koko's best friend, Watson Seswai, introduced Koko to Pather in 2015. "I am willing to testify before any court of law about that meeting because I was there and I know what was discussed," he said.Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr investigators established that Seswai and Choma were trustees of the Mokoni Trust which had a 35% shareholding in Impulse International.
Eskom previously told the Sunday Times that when Koko asked Choma to leave Impulse International, she moved her shares to the trust instead of resigning entirely.
The trust was registered with the Master of the High Court in Mpumalanga in July last year.
Koko yesterday refused to explain how Seswai became a fellow trustee of the Mokoni Trust.
"Please contact Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr and Eskom for the outcome of the investigation. It is their report," Koko said.Seswai failed to answer questions sent to him by the Sunday Times this week.
Eskom board spokesman Khulani Qoma said yesterday: "The report was discussed by the former board and it will soon again be discussed by the newly reconstituted board to expeditiously finalise its position within the strict timeline."Qoma advised the board to also fire Eskom chief financial officer Anoj Singh for his links with the Guptas.
He said Singh "has featured prominently in the Gupta leaks".
"According to the e-mails, he started the bidding for the Gupta family while he was employed at Transnet and has allegedly migrated with this mandate to Eskom. I haven't personally seen any credible effort, by him, to refute these grave allegations."
Qoma said yesterday: "My statement [of June 14] is accurate and I stand by it still."

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