Eskom distances itself from death threats against journalist

The Eskom board says the parastatal is in no way involved in death threats against Mzilikazi wa Afrika.

FILE: Eskom flags at Megawatt Park in Johannesburg. Picture: Taurai Maduna/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom has distanced itself from death threats against Sunday Times investigative journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika, saying it respects and upholds the laws of South Africa which include the freedom of journalists and the free flow of information.

Over the weekend, the Sunday Times reported that it has credible information that its journalist could be in danger because of his reporting on the lucrative tenders Eskom has awarded to Impulse International, a company at which the stepdaughter of Eskom boss Matshela Koko was a director.

Last month, Wa Afrika wrote that Impulse International, a Fourways-based company in which 26-year-old Koketso Choma was a director, raked in contracts worth about R1 billion from the utility.

The Eskom board says the parastatal is in no way involved in death threats against Wa Afrika.

It’s understood Wa Afrika has signed an affidavit detailing the threats and the results of an investigation into the identities of some of the people behind them.

Over a series of reports, the investigative journalist has revealed that Choma, who graduated as a chartered accountant three years ago, was appointed as a director at Impulse International last April, a company that was awarded eight contracts from a division of Eskom that Koko headed at the time.

Eskom board spokesperson Khulani Koma said: “We distance ourselves from whatever possible linkages with Eskom because our principles are for a democracy, they are for a free flow of information and freedom of journalists to be able to do what they need to do.”

Koma says the board is still investigating the matter regarding contracts awarded to Impulse International and will communicate its findings in due course.

Koko maintains he was not aware that his stepdaughter was a part of Impulse International and says he ordered her to resign once he was informed.

Koma says wa Afrika's reports do not mean any of the threats against him come from the power utility.

“The Sunday Times in its own story did not actually point a finger at Eskom and I think that’s correct because we’re not aware of any such move from ourselves as Eskom.”

Koma says the board is still investigating the matter and will communicate its findings in due course.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)