Matshela Koko Eskom board

Matshela Koko will appear in court on Thursday – Photo by Gallo Images / Mail & Guardian / Madelene Cronjé

Eskom latest: Ex-CEO Koko celebrates the downfall of his colleagues

He who laughs last, seemingly laughs the longest. Matshela Koko has had his say on the Eskom corruption arrests: Bail for the accused is R300 000.

Matshela Koko Eskom board

Matshela Koko will appear in court on Thursday – Photo by Gallo Images / Mail & Guardian / Madelene Cronjé

Four men have been hauled into court on Thursday afternoon, accused of committing fraudulent and corrupt activities during their time as managers at Eskom. The defendants have apparently been caught with their hands in the till, after negotiating a tainted R745-million contract – and Matshela Koko hasn’t been able to resist piping up.

Eskom arrests: Who is involved?

A swathe of fraud and corruption charges have been filed against two senior figures who were still recently in the employ of Eskom. Four people and seven different companies have been implicated in the sting, which led to arrests taking place on Thursday regarding “gross manipulations of contractual agreements”.

France Hlakudi was Eskom’s contracts manager for the Kusile Power Plant while Abram Masango, in his capacity as the state utility’s group executive for capital projects, oversaw key contractual processes at the Kusile and Medupi power plants. It’s alleged that the accused scored themselves a R30-million kickback each for the mega-money deal, at the a time when Koko was part of the board.

Bail conditions for Franks Hlakudi, Abram Masanga and Tony Trindade

  • Former Eskom officials Hlakudi and Masango, as well as Tubular Construction CEO Tony Trindade are in the dock.
  • The state has suggested bail be set at R300 000 per person. Hell, don’t be shy to use that “kickback” money lads.
  • All of the accused have been asked to surrender their passports. 
  • Magistrate Albertus Roux did grant the suspects bail, but all of the accused say they cannot afford it. All will remain in prison unless they stump up the six-figure sums.

Eskom: Matshela Koko hates saying ‘I told you so’, but…

Koko is the former CEO of the utility firm. He resigned back in 2018, and upon leaving his role, the one-time executive strenuously denied any wrongdoing on his part. He claimed the decision was the best thing for him and his family at the time. Now, he’s looking back in anger, and claiming the moral high ground:

“On 2 March 2017, I moved to suspend Abram Masango, France Hlakudi and two others because I had the evidence that they took bribes from suppliers. The Eskom board objected and resolved to suspend me on the basis of an anonymous complaint lodged by Abram.

“Those same criminals went to tell the parliamentary enquiry that I was corrupt. Today they will spend their Christmas in the cells. The long arm of the law has caught up with them.”

Matshela Koko

Koko is looking to rebuild his reputation in the industry after his name was circulated in a whirlwind of state capture accusations. He was grilled for lying to parliament about payments to McKinsey and Trillian and sharing sensitive SOE details with a Gupta associate at the Eskom Inquiry. An investigation into his conduct is ongoing, but the former head honcho is feeling pretty vindicated this evening.

Eskom have issued a statement on the matter, vowing to “leave no stone unturned” to right historical wrongs: