Koko ‘told former Eskom financial director beforehand about suspension of execs’

Former Eskom executive Matshela Koko. Picture: Moneyweb

Former financial director says after telling her about the imminent suspensions, Koko told her that she could possibly be asked to act in the position of one of the suspended execs.

Former Eskom executive Matshela Koko told the power utility’s former financial director Nonkululeko Dlamini of the impending suspension of himself and three other executives in 2015 and the possibility of her being asked to act in the position of financial director.

Dlamini on Wednesday appeared before the chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, to give testimony on the suspension of four Eskom executives on 11 and 12 March 2015.

The executives who were suspended at the time are Koko, who at the time was the group executive of technology, CEO Tshediso Matona, group capital executive Dan Marokane and finance director Tsholofelo Molefe.

Zondo heard that Dlamini was at the time reporting to Molefe.

Dlamini told Zondo that on 10 March 2015 she received a call from Koko who requested to meet urgently at Melrose Arch.

Dlamini said she told Koko that she could not make it to the meeting at the shopping centre as she was at the time attending a strategy session, this after she had consulted with Molefe who told her that she could not leave the session.

Koko then asked Dlamini that she forward him her CV, which she tried to send after the phone call without success, Zondo heard.

Dlamini said it was “rare” and did not happen “very often” and it was “unusual” to be asked by an executive to meet at a location “like that”, Melrose Arch.

The commission recently heard testimony from the former head of legal and compliance at Eskom, Suzanne Daniels, that on 10 March 2015, she met for the first time Gupta business associate Salim Essa at a meeting facilitated by Koko.

During her testimony, Daniels told Zondo that ahead of their meeting with Essa, Koko had asked that she meet with him (Koko) at Melrose Arch.

On Wednesday, Dlamini told Zondo that Koko did not tell her whether there were other people she would have met at Melrose Arch.

Dlamini said later that day on 10 March 2015 after the strategy session had ended, she met with Koko at a restaurant in Midrand after the latter followed up on her CV he had requested from her.

Dlamini said during the 20-minute long or so meeting at the restaurant, Koko told her that he, Molefe and two other executives he did not name would be suspended and that she would possibly be asked to act in Molefe’s position of financial director.

Dlamini told Zondo that she assumed that Koko wanted her CV because he was collecting them on behalf of the Eskom’s board in light of the pending suspensions he had told her about.

Zondo heard on Wednesday that according to the minutes of 19 March 2015, the Eskom board discussed how it had come about that those people who would be asked to act in the positions of the four suspended executives knew beforehand that they would be requested to do so and that it needed to find out about an alleged meeting the acting chief executive at the time, Zithembe Khoza, convened with these people.

Dlamini told Zondo that she only heard from Koko that she could possibly be asked to act in Molefe’s position, a matter which was announced on 12 March.

In her affidavit to the commission, Molefe confirms Dlamini’s version.

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