JOHANNESBURG, February 16 – The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) has welcomed the departure of Eskom group executive for generation, Matshela Koko, and called on the power utility to ensure that he is prosecuted.
“Matshela Koko is a technical delinquent who is beyond redemption as he is unable to acknowledge his own mistakes. This man should be held accountable and be prosecuted for lying to the parliamentary inquiry by claiming ignorance,” Outa’s chief operations officer Ben Theron, said.
“It is time for Koko to face the music and take accountability for his actions related to state capture and his misconduct within Eskom by failing to adhere to the code of ethics.”
Eskom on Friday accepted Koko’s resignation with immediate effect, but said that it reserves all its rights to institute legal action in respect of any damages the power utility has suffered arising from his actions and to enforce its legal rights under the Pension Funds Act
Koko tendered his resignation on February morning during his disciplinary hearing, without admitting any guilt.
He had been suspended earlier this month over allegations of graft, and serious charges of misconduct had been leveled against him that would have been adjudicated at his disciplinary hearing.
Koko was implicated in the Tegeta-Optimum prepayment scandal, the McKinsey scandal, leaking confidential Eskom information to a Gupta associate, and allegedly awarding contracts worth more than R1 billion to his stepdaughter’s company.
Eskom initially refused to accept Koko’s resignation as the new management wanted the hearing to continue to finality, but later accepted it after taking legal advice.
Eskom said it would have preferred to continue with the disciplinary process so that Koko could be held to account for any proven wrong-doing, but accepted that this practically could not be pursued in light of clear legal precedent that a resignation by an employee unilaterally terminates the employment relationship.
Theron said that Koko must be held accountable and to face both criminal charges and civil action to recover any looted funds.
“We implore the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises and Eskom’s new board to ensure that he faces the full might of the law, for his shenanigans to be investigated and the financial implications quantified, so that the recovery of illegal benefits is set in motion,” Theron said.
Theron called for the terms of Koko’s departure to be made public, and said Outa will institute legal action if Koko is paid a golden handshake.
He said that Outa believes that Koko must be summoned to give evidence in the upcoming Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.