Tshediso Matona and Eskom ‘part amicably’

Matona was suspended earlier this year, when an independent investigation was launched into Eskom.

FILE: Tshediso Matona. Picture: Reinart Toerein/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom has announced that suspended Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Tshediso Matona has decided to leave the utility.

The board met with Matona and have both decided to part amicably.

The former CEO was suspended earlier this year, when an independent investigation was launched into Eskom.

The utility's Khulu Phasiwe said, "He has decided that he needs to take a break from Eskom and pursue his career elsewhere. But the investigation into the three other executives will continue and the outcome of that will be made public."

EXECUTIVES ASKED TO 'STEP ASIDE'

In March, Eskom announced that four of its executives were asked to step aside as a fact finding inquiry took place.

The four included Matona, Head of Capital Projects Dan Marokane, Technology and Commercial Executive Matshela Koko and Finance Director Tsholofelo Molefe.

The announcement was made by Eskom's former chairperson Zola Tsotsi.

Tsotsi said the announcement came on the back of a special board meeting.

"This was done in the best interests of our stakeholders," Tsotsi told the media.

"The inquiry will look into poor generation capacity, cash flow issues and other problems."

He added there was no intent or suspicion of wrongdoing and executives had been asked to step aside to ensure the inquiry happens without any influence.

"It's a suspension only in a way that the inquiry can happen without any influence. There is no sinister or hidden agenda by the board. We set up to proceed with the inquiry and get it going."

The former chairperson said that will be a fact finding inquiry.

"If in the process of the inquiry wrongdoing is found, then it will be attended to."

TSOTSI STEPPED DOWN

Within a few weeks of asking executives to step aside, the power utility confirmed that its chairman had stepped down.

In a brief statement, the parastatal said a constructive discussion was held between Eskom's board and Tsotsi, who agreed to step down as both a director and chairperson.

On behalf of the board, Doctor Ben Ngubane thanked Tsotsi for what he called 'the selfless decision' and wished him well in his future endeavours.

Eskom said Tsotsi has decided to resign so that the parastatal could focus on managing the power crisis and providing reliable energy.

His resignation followed repeated calls for him to be axed by unions and an attempted vote of no confidence.

Tsotsi was the only remaining member of the Eskom board that was asked to step aside in its entirety by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown and questions were raised about why he retained his position despite under-performance by the utility.

Phasiwe said with Tsotsi's resignation, the utility must refocus itself on its core businesses.

"We're hopeful that this will bring some stability to the operation of the company, especially at a board level."