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Ramaphosa behind my Eskom dismissal, Matshela Koko tells Zondo commission

Matshela Koko told the Zondo commission he was fired while driving home. File photo.
Matshela Koko told the Zondo commission he was fired while driving home. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander

Former Eskom executive Matshela Koko told the state capture commission on Thursday that President Cyril Ramaphosa interfered in the utility's decision to dismiss him.

The interference took place between 2012 and 2014, when Ramaphosa was still deputy president and chair of Optimum coal mine.

Koko alleged that this interference was motivated by an outstanding R1.4bn penalty fee due to Eskom by Optimum, which Koko was pushing to recover.

In his testimony, Koko stated that he was alerted by the then deputy director-general and deputy public enterprises minister of the impending dismissal by then-deputy president Ramaphosa and the new board.

Unconsciously or consciously, your investigators are following people and not the evidence. If they were, different people would be sitting where I am sitting,” he told the inquiry. “Optimum mine owed Eskom penalties of over a billion [rand], and they never explained [why the money was not paid],” Koko said.

Koko said he received a call one day while he was at the office, alerting him of the impending statement by Ramaphosa — a media statement announcing his dismissal.

He then left his office in the afternoon, but before he got home — driving between Centurion and Johannesburg — his dismissal and a new board had been announced.

This is a developing story.

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