Impulse International, the company currently under investigation for receiving contracts worth an estimated R390 million “without tendering for work or being on an approved panel of suppliers”, was added on to the Eskom database of suppliers a few days after Matshela Koko was suspended.
Koko, acting as group chief executive of the power utility when he was suspended last year, previously worked as the group executive of power generation, a division responsible for procuring coal for Ekom’s major power stations.
The Business Day reports that not only did Impulse International finally get added to the approved list of service providers, the company received new contracts as of last week despite being under investigation for fraudulently receiving work from Eskom.
An investigation was conducted by Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr, a law firm, as well as auditing company Nkonki, after it emerged that Koketso Choma, Koko’s stepdaughter, owned 35% of Impulse and was its director.
In his defence, Koko told the media he was unaware of his stepdaugher’s involvement in the company despite the two living in the same house.
According to the publication, the board’s tender committee in which the chairperson sat approved the “augmentation” of Impulse on May 17, together with 76 other suppliers, “on to the engineering and project management services in respect of a tender that was advertised in December 2016”.
A company employee at Impulse Internal indicated that CEO Pragasen Pather was in a meeting with the head of communications, and they would respond to the allegations soon.
Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe, in a response to The Citizen, said all issues related to Impulse International had been referred to the board and the minister after the investigation was completed.
“The investigation looked into whether Eskom has contracts with Impulse, how much those contracts were worth and how they were awarded. In time the minister and the board will release the report the public,” Phasiwe added.