Eskom's former acting boss 'leaked classified info' to Gupta associate

Matshela Koko allegedly leaked classified documents to a Gupta associate. File photo.
Matshela Koko allegedly leaked classified documents to a Gupta associate. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander

The state capture inquiry on Monday heard how then-acting Eskom boss Matshela Koko leaked critical information on internal programmes to people aligned to the controversial Gupta family.

Testifying at the inquiry, the parastatal’s board chairman Jabu Mabuza described emails found on Koko’s computer, in which he sent confidential information to known Gupta associate Salim Essa.

The emails were dated July 20 2015, the day Koko returned to work after being taken off a four-month suspension.

“It’s got to be remembered that in March 2015, Eskom was in the midst of big load-shedding. It was in March when four senior executives were suspended from Eskom (Koko was one of the four),” Mabuza said.

“Once they were suspended, that also created the possibility for other executives to be brought into Eskom. The 20th of July is significant in the sense that the one executive returned on the day was Matshela Koko.

“We at Eskom hold the view that [after] having being suspended, Koko was brought in and he had to demonstrate his capability and his allegiance to the capturers [showing] what he can do.”

Mabuza then described various emails between Koko and Essa between 7:56am and 8:01am on July 20.

  • The first email, sent at 7:56am, contained a document that was a year old at the time. The document comprised a response from National Treasury directing public entities on how to contain their costs.
  • The second, only a minute later, outlined the approval conditions for Eskom’s Top Engineers Programme.
  • The third, sent at 8:01, seems to be a “resend” of Koko’s first email to Essa.
  • The fourth, sent immediately afterwards, contains a resolution by Eskom’s executive committee on the Top Engineers Programme and presents a business case for it. It also speaks about the external support required to design the project.

“The pattern we are picking up here is on this day, on returning to office, Koko sells this material to Essa to demonstrate to Essa what business opportunities exist in Eskom. This is where certain work was then given to McKinsey, this is how Trillian was inserted to offer the business opportunity,” Mabuza said.

“What should not be lost in this is [that] these were classified documents. These are now documents in the hands of an external party. It now tells the external party: This is the opportunity, and when you quote for this job, please do it in these guidelines ... The intention was to create business opportunities for specific people for a specific reason.”

Mabuza's testimony is continuing.

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