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Qoma: Minister Brown blocked move to suspend Koko

Eskom board spokesperson Khulani Qoma told MPs that former board chairperson Ben Ngubane was on the verge of suspending Koko early this year, but Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown intervened.

FILE: Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

PARLIAMENT - The man hired to manage Eskom’s public image has told Members of Parliament (MPs) that top executives, Matshela Koko and Anoj Singh, were damaging the parastatal’s reputation.

Eskom board spokesperson Khulani Qoma testified in Parliament on Tuesday that Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown blocked the board’s early attempt to suspend Koko.

Koko was eventually suspended this year and is facing a disciplinary hearing after it emerged that his stepdaughter was a director of a company that scored R1 billion worth of deals from Eskom.

Long before he was officially suspended, Koko was courting controversy at the parastatal.

In a humiliating interview with Carte Blanche in 2016, Koko denied that Eskom had granted a Gupta-owned company a prepayment of nearly R600 million which allowed the company to buy Optimum Coal.

He was forced to backtrack when confronted with a signed document proving that the state-owned enterprise had indeed allowed the payment.

Qoma told Parliament’s Public Enterprises committee that Koko was bad for the parastatal’s image.

“He lied on camera to Carte Blanche.”

Qoma was shocked when Brown approved Koko’s appointment as interim CEO.

He told MPs that former board chairperson Ben Ngubane was on the verge of suspending Koko early this year, but Brown intervened.

“Dr Ngubabe came very close to suspending Koko but he was stopped right in his tracks by Minister Brown.”

Qoma is the author of an internal report which accused the board of failing to act decisively against compromised senior executives.

In the report, he warned that Eskom “oozed corporate arrogance” and urged the parastatal to stay away from Koko.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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