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Koko 'shocked' to learn email address he thought was Ngubane's belonged to Essa

Former Eskom CEO Matshela Koko told the Zondo Commission that he had been given the email address by Eskom's former head of legal and compliance, Suzanne Daniels, who said that it was board chair Ben Ngubane’s personal email account.

FILE: A screengrab of former Eskom head of generation Matshela Koko appearing at the state capture inquiry on 11 December 2020. Picture: SABC/YouTube

CAPE TOWN - Shocked, flabbergasted, angry.

That was former Eskom group CEO Matshela Koko’s reaction at the state capture inquiry on Tuesday when he was told that an email address he thought belonged to board chairperson Ben Ngubane was actually that of Gupta business associate, Salim Essa.

He told the inquiry that he had been given the email address by Eskom's former head of legal and compliance, Suzanne Daniels, who said that it was Ngubane’s personal email account.

Koko sent a string of emails to the account during 2015, attaching information about Eskom.

Evidence leader Pule Seleka told Koko that it had been established during Daniels’ disciplinary hearing that the infoportal1@zoho.com email address belonged to Essa.

This was Koko’s response: “Chairman, I note that – I’m shocked, I’m flabbergasted and it angers me, if that is indeed the case.”

Koko said that Daniels gave him the email address on his return to Eskom after his suspension was lifted, when she had been made company secretary and was working in Ngubane’s office.

“Ms Daniels gave me the email address and said, 'You need to keep the chairman informed.'”

Koko said that none of the emails he sent greeted Ngubane by name as he never did that. He said that it was not unusual for Eskom board members to use private email addresses.

Koko took the stand for the third time yesterday but only very late in the afternoon. He will be called back, on a date yet to be set, to answer further questions about the emails and transactions between Eskom and Tegeta.

He told the inquiry it did not matter if the email account belonged to Essa or not: “What matters to me is that if that email address belongs to an external party then it’s a serious security breach for me. That concerns me.”

He claimed not be aware that he was communicating with a third party, outside Eskom.

Former Eskom CFO Anoj Singh is due to give testimony on Wednesday.

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