HomeIndustry SectorsFinance and PolicyFormer Eskom CE couched consultancy firms to win contracts

Former Eskom CE couched consultancy firms to win contracts

Speaking at the state capture enquiry, current Eskom board chair Jabu Mabuza has described how the power utility’s former acting chief executive Matshela Koko fed confidential company information to third parties in order for them to exploit business opportunities with the utility.

This opened the doors for the likes of McKinsey and Trillian to secure multi-million rand contracts with the company.

Mabuza confirmed that Koko sent confidential documents to a Gupta associate, Salim Essa, to inform him of business opportunities at Eskom. Essa is largely known as a deal maker for the controversial Gupta family and Trillian.

He said the consultancy firms were effectively mentored 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,” said Mabuza.

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 sharing the classified documents, Koko gave McKinsey and Trillian an advantage.

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 R600 million from Trillian.

Koko resigned one hour before his disciplinary hearing 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 Gupta family.

‘Engineering’ Eskom tenders

After resigning from Eskom, Koko has since reinvented himself on social media as an ‘energy expert’ regularly criticising current managers and the Eskom Board. Read more: Eskom generation head Matshela Koko resigns

Some media houses have unwittingly featured him in interviews where he makes claims that he was pushed out of Eskom because he refused to sign agreements with Independent Power Producers.

Mabuza however refutes this. 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.”

Koko is also accused of ‘engineering’ Eskom tenders in favour of his family. His wife received millions of rands via a company awarded contracts by the power utility. Documents in the possession of state capture investigators suggest the money flowed to companies where Koko’s wife, Mosima, is a director.

It was channelled through Eskom service provider Impulse International, where Mosima’s 27-year-old daughter, Koketso Choma, was a nonexecutive director. Impulse raked in contracts worth about R1-billion from Eskom after Choma joined the company on April 1 2016. Koko has claimed that he did not know his stepdaughter was a director at Impulse when the company was awarded a string of Eskom contracts.

The big question on everyone’s mind is why has Koko not been arrested?

Author: Bryan Groenendaal

This article was originally published on Green Building Africa and is republished with permission with minor editorial changes.

Babalwa Bungane
Babalwa Bungane is the content producer for ESI Africa - Clarion Events Africa. Babalwa has been writing for the publication for over five years. She also contributes to sister publications; Smart Energy International and Power Engineering International. Babalwa is a social media enthusiast.