Suspended Eskom executive Matshela Koko resigns

Suspended Eskom executive, Matshela Koko has resigned.

Koko, the controversial head of generation and former acting chief executive at embattled power utility, stepped down after weeks of lobbying that he do so.

His resignation was submitted in an email to the group chief executive. A second disciplinary hearing into Koko’s conduct was heard on Friday morning.

Up until Friday, Koko had refused to bow to pressure to resign. He claimed calls for his dismissal, from banks and other lenders concerned about governance at the utility, were unfair. His resignation follows that of former chief financial officer Anoj Singh and head of group capital, Prish Govender. It also comes less than a day after Cyril Ramaphosa has replaced Jacob Zuma as President of South Africa.

Although he has resigned, Koko has not admitted to any wrongdoing.

Koko was acquitted at his first disciplinary hearing related to nepotism involving his stepdaughter, but was again suspended on February 1 when he refused to resign.

At his latest disciplinary hearing the Eskom executive is facing four charges, including misleading Parliament, leaking confidential Eskom information to a Gupta associate and accepting flights to Dubai from a Gupta ally.

The poor financial health of Eskom poses the largest risk to the South African economy. Financiers have been unwilling to extend further funding until governance concerns were addressed. A new board and chief executive, and now Koko’s resignation, will assist in restoring confidence in the utility. 

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