Eskom says it noted with great concern some media reports that had suggested that the disciplinary hearing of the company’s suspended group executive Matshela Koko has collapsed, and that the entire process was a farce with a predetermined outcome.
Koko was suspended for failing to declare a conflict of interest when he awarded a multi-million-rand contract to a company linked to his step-daughter.
There’s been several delays to the proceedings due to the unavailability of a chairperson for the hearing.
Eskom’s Interim Chairperson, Zethembe Khoza said the disciplinary hearing was fair and transparent.
“Eskom wishes to unequivocally state that this disciplinary hearing is being conducted in a fair, professional, and transparent manner, with the media being granted permission to attend in a matter that would ordinarily be treated as an internal matter.”
“It is worth noting that the chairperson of the hearing, together with the evidence leaders from both parties, are competent and independent professionals who belong to highly regulated organisations that would take a dim view of any misconduct by anyone of their members,” said Khoza.
Khoza said it was regrettable that the events of October 20,2017,where Eskom’s previous evidence leader was involved in an altercation with a journalist, have overshadowed the integrity of the disciplinary enquiry.
“Eskom took immediate action and replaced the former evidence leader in order to protect the sanctity of the hearing and to maintain the independence and freedom of expression of the media as enshrined in the Constitution of our country,” said Khoza.
Furthermore, said Khoza, Eskom noted with concern the allegations that have been made regarding the witnesses who have declined to testify in the proceedings, saying it was important to note that the current evidence leader was duly instructed to do all that was necessary to obtain the attendance of all the identified witnesses.
He added that some witnesses have chosen to decline the request based on legal advice they received from their lawyers.
“Eskom accordingly has had no option but to continue with the hearing in the absence of these witnesses and to close its case on November , 252017. Accordingly, Koko will be testifying in his defence on Thursday( November 30, 2017 at 09h00,” said Khoza