Matshela Koko Eskom board

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

Highlights: Matshela Koko at State Capture Inquiry

Former Eskom CEO Matshela Koko gave testimony and had much to say about allegations levelled against him by former legal head Suzanne Daniels

Matshela Koko Eskom board

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

Former Eskom Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Matshela Koko spent the whole of Monday, 01 March 2021, issuing rebuttal after rebuttal at the State Capture Commission. Much of his testimony was based on his alleged proximity to the controversial Gupta family and the extent of his role on the struggling power utility’s affairs, particularly as they pertain to wrongdoing and other dubious activity.

The mysterious email

One of the prime focuses of Matshela Koko’s testimony was unravelling the face behind an email from a ‘Businessman’ which was unduly privy to confidential matters relating to Eskom’s affairs. Koko said at the time, he assumed the utility’s former board chairperson, Dr Ben Ngubane was using the email address to communicate important company information – he claimed he had been given the address from former Eskom legal compliance head Suzanne Daniels. Daniels herself told the commission that she suspected Gupta-linked associate Salim Essa to be behind the emails.

“I did not send Eskom information to a third party knowingly. Is it Mr Essa? Then we go into the probability issue … I will leave those probabilities to you,” Koko said.

Matshela Koko’s ‘Gupta-sponsored’ trip?

The former Eskom CEO also took the opportunity to flagrantly deny allegations that Salim Essa forked out R100 000 towards a trip to Dubai in January 2016. A travel agent who allegedly helped plan the Kokos’ trip submitted an affidavit telling her side of the story.

He said he himself paid over R300 000 for the trip for his wife and children.

“I am very happy for this affidavit. It exposes the falsehoods. I hope the commission’s investigators will look at this affidavit and get to the bottom of it. This affidavit was deposed to the police in 2018 and nothing came out of it,” Koko said.

Suzanne Daniels Matshela Koko ‘very close’

In addition to denying much of Suzanne Daniels’ own testimony, Matshela Koko also mentioned to Zondo that the pair had enjoyed a very close professional relationship and that there had one been a strong level of trust.

Koko said Daniels had even arranged visas for his family trip, which she did. He said the mysterious ‘Businessman’ email had helped him apply for the visas, which he found odd because he believed Ngubane was the man behind the emails. However he said he never questioned Daniels due to their close relationship.

“Suzanne and I were in a very professional relationship. I wouldn’t say we were friends…but professionally we were very close and I trusted her professionally,” he said.