'Koko hunt began when I did not favour renewable energy,' Matshela tells state capture inquiry

Matshela Koko has accused Zondo commission investigators of working with the Special Investigating Unit to try to prove its case while disregarding his evidence. File photo.
Matshela Koko has accused Zondo commission investigators of working with the Special Investigating Unit to try to prove its case while disregarding his evidence. File photo.
Image: Esa Alexander

The former head of generation at Eskom, Matshela Koko, on Friday testified that there was an orchestrated witch-hunt against him because he preferred nuclear power over renewable energy.

He told the commission of inquiry into state capture that the two energy plans represented two different political interests: President Cyril Ramaphosa, who pushed for renewable energy, and former president Jacob Zuma, who preferred nuclear power.

Koko was back at the commission on Friday to continue his testimony. Previously, he alleged that Ramaphosa had interfered in his dismissal back in 2018.  

“But the story of nuclear was politicised. Zuma is nuclear, Ramaphosa was renewable energy.

“I have never been attacked so much. A similar conspiracy to what we are doing now. I was criticised left, right and centre, and it was argued that I am anti-renewable and pro-nuclear. The culmination of the Koko hunt was in June 2016 when we were supposed to sign the renewable product.

It was after this, he said, that people said of him that “this guy is corrupt”.

On March 11, 2015, the Eskom board suspended four executives. Koko was one of them. Three left, and only Koko returned. He said his suspension was unjustified and reiterated his lack of prior knowledge to the suspension.

Koko told the commission that the then board chairperson, Zola Tsotsi, was on a mission to get rid of him.

He said he did not fight the issue of his suspension as he was accused of having caused load-shedding by the head of commercial.

“It paralyses you,” he said.

He said this was equivalent to treason.

“The only reason that Mr Tsotsi, I think and that’s my thinking, between now and then, he did not mention other executives, it’s because he wanted to force my name at all costs because he wanted to get rid of me because of how I responded to him,” Koko added.

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