Brown lambasted for Koko's 'diabolical' return to Eskom

Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown.
Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown.

Business Leadership SA (BLSA) has expressed "great shock and utter dismay" after Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown approved the reappointment of Eskom executives Matshela Koko and Prish Govender.

BLSA chief executive Bonang Mohale on Friday called for a "serious and urgent review" of Brown's continued tenure in a critically important portfolio‚ saying her handling of the many crises facing Eskom had been "shockingly dismal".

"The decision (to reappoint Koko and Govender) shows Ms Brown's poor grasp of governance‚ Eskom's role in the economy and the potential contagion it has on the rest of the economy‚" Mohale said.

"She continues with absolute impunity to ensure that state-owned enterprises (SOEs) under her control are still systematically saddled with hurriedly promoted‚ usually untested‚ and largely incompetent and often corrupt 'cadre deployments' where performance is not even expected."

Brown had failed to adhere to the high governance standards expected by Eskom's investors and regulators‚ he said.

"As BLSA‚ we reiterate our call for a complete overhaul of the Eskom board members and executives who are captured."

He said the reappointment of Koko and Govender was similar to the reinstatement of former CE Brian Molefe‚ and flew in the face of the rule of law.

It supported neither the imperative of holding executives accountable‚ nor the efforts of business and labour to work with government to restore confidence in the economy‚ following a series downgrades by international credit rating agencies.

Mohale described an internal disciplinary inquiry against Koko as a "sham". Koko‚ he said‚ had yet to answer satisfactorily to the allegations made against him by parliament's inquiry into governance failures at Eskom.

"Not only is his reappointment inappropriate‚ but also diabolical and a snub to millions of South Africans who are victims of the state capture project‚ which has diverted billions of taxpayers' rand into private pockets."

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