We’ve Exposed Eskom Internal Information To Third Parties – Matshela Koko

Former Eskom head of generation Matshela Koko has distanced himself from allegations that he played a role in the allocation of a R1.68 billion guarantee to the Gupta family’s Tegeta Exploration and Resources to purchase the Optimum coal mine in 2015.
Koko also denied ever having had a meeting and negotiating terms of the R1.68bn with the Gupta-linked Salim Essa.
He divulged these details during his fourth appearance before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Monday.
Koko was replying to questions by evidence leader advocate Pule Seleka, who produced an email written by him to info-portal, an email address linked to Essa.
In the email, Koko outlines the terms of the guarantee including methods on how Eskom was due to recover monthly payments of the guarantee.
Seleka was of the view Koko was aware that he was in communication with Essa about the terms of the deal but he denied this.
“I knew that the email belongs to the chairperson of the board, Dr (Ben) Ngubane. I wrote to Dr Ngubane to inform him about what we were going to discuss at the upcoming Eskom board meeting.
’’Advanced payments were allowed in Eskom. It was an acceptable strategy for Eskom in certain circumstances,” Koko said.
He said he received the email from Dr Ngubane and forwarded it to Suzanne Daniels, who was then Eskom’s head of legals and compliance, on December 10, 2015.
Seleka, however, produced a series of email communications between Koko and info-portal email, but Koko was adamant that he had been in communication with Ngubane.
However, Koko admitted that he recently became aware that the info-portal email belonged to a third person, saying “we have exposed Eskom internal information to third parties”.
Despite his denials, Koko is due to respond to Daniels’ earlier testimony that he and former Eskom chief financial officer Anoj Singh were instrumental in securing the R1.68bn deal for Tegeta.
During her testimony in January, Daniels told the commission how the deal was hatched, saying that Optimum was under business rescue. During that process, Eskom officials who included Daniels set up a memorandum in which the power utility was going to pre-purchase coal from Optimum for a period of 12 months amounting to R1.6bn.
According to the heading of the memorandum, the prepayment of R1.68bn was initially supposed to be paid to Optimum but ended with the Gupta-owned Tegeta mine.
The commission heard that Tegeta used the R1.6bn as guarantee to the business rescue practitioners that they had the financial muscle to purchase Optimum Coal Holdings.
Daniels, in her testimony, confirmed it, but blamed it all on Koko and Singh. According to her, Koko and Singh were the authors of the memorandum.