On Wednesday, 24 January, Matshela Koko, who is the former acting Chief Executive and current head of generation at the state-owned energy company, Eskom, testified at a Parliamentary inquiry into state-capture at the company.
Koko was defiant, despite a barrage of questions from members of Parliament.
Below are some of his more noteworthy quotes:
“The narrative that has been spun by the media and others is that Optimum was driven into business rescue by Eskom with the intention to enable Tegeta to acquire Optimum Coal Holdings assets, and that when Tegeta by April 2015 fell short in putting up the money, Eskom made a prepayment to Tegeta to enable it to make payment” – Matshela Koko
“I have been caught in the crossfire and, arising from the simple magnitude of the campaign, have been unable to defend myself against it. It has all been very, very hurtful.” – Matshela Koko
“Optimum has to be discharged out of business rescue as a going concern. Only when there is a going concern, can it guarantee coal for the future.” – Matshela Koko
“I told the board the reasons they are giving me, are not what I am being suspended… I knew why I was being suspended. I was being suspended for refusing to take unlawful instructions from the chairman at the time Zola Tsotsi.” – Matshela Koko
“Eskom then, moreover, in 2017 knocked down its penalty claim from R2.18bn to less than R600m further to assist Tegeta, all as part of an overall strategy to establish Tegeta as a substantial player in the coal mining sector. I deny that any such overall strategy ever existed.” – Matshela Koko
“I told Tsotsi [Zola] quite unequivocally that I could not recommend or approve any payment to Sumitomo for equipment that Eskom did not contract and issue a purchase order for.” – Matshela Koko
The Parliamentary inquiry continues.