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Mabuza: 'Koko gave McKinsey, Trillian advantages on Eskom contracts'

Eskom board chair Jabu Mabuza explained that by sending out the classified documents, former acting chief executive Matshela Koko gave McKinsey and Trillian an advantage.

A screengrab of Eskom board chairperson Jabu Mabuza giving testimony at the Zondo Commission on 25 February 2019.

JOHANNESBURG - Eskom board chair Jabu Mabuza has described how the power utility's former acting chief executive Matshela Koko paved the way for McKinsey and Trillian to secure multi-million rand contracts with the company.

Mabuza is expected to conclude his testimony at the state capture commission on Monday.

He says Koko sent confidential documents to a Gupta associate to inform him of business opportunities at Eskom.

Koko resigned last year after he was charged with lying to Parliament about payments to McKinsey and Trillian, sharing sensitive and classified documents, as well as accepting free flights to Dubai from the controversial family.

McKinsey was hired by Eskom in 2015 to assist with the power utility’s turnaround strategy at an estimated cost of R1 billion a year.

Mabuza has explained that by sending out the classified documents, Koko gave McKinsey and Trillian an advantage.

"These were classified documents that were now in the hands of an external party."

He says the consultancy firms were even advised on how to bid for contracts at Eskom.

"This is how they’ll quote, this is the budget they’ll be working towards and these are the prices they’ll be quoting within."

McKinsey has since paid back R1 billion to Eskom after admitting to failing to follow correct processes in doing business with the power utility.

Eskom is still in the process of getting back R600m from Trillian.

WATCH: Eskom's Jabu Mabuza gives evidence at Zondo Commission

WHY DID KOKO RESIGN?

The Eskom board chair has told the state capture commission that Koko did not resign from Eskom because he refused to sign off on Independent Power Producers as he claims, but rather because he ran away from facing serious charges.

After he resigned from Eskom, Koko - whose popularly known on Twitter as “Engineer” - became overly active on social media, dedicating much of his time to defending his tenure at the power utility and criticising current managers.

He’s also recently given a number of interviews, claiming he was pushed out of Eskom because he refused to sign agreements with Independent Power Producers.

Mabuza says this is a lie.

“Mr Matshela’s departure from Eskom in this particular term is not related to what he’s publicly said about IPPs not signing. He resigned an hour before his disciplinary hearing.”

Koko recently wrote a column arguing that while Eskom is broken, it wasn’t broken by the Guptas, a family which leaked emails show he had links to.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)