DA Objects to Appointment of Dubious Acting CEO [press release]

The DA will write to all board members at Eskom, as well as the Minister of Public Enterprises, Malusi Gigaba, noting our g objection to the appointment of Eskom’s new acting CEO, Collin Matjila.

We will also call for this appointment to be rescinded and an appropriate replacement made available.

Mr Matjilla’s promotion comes when the state utility races against time to build new capacity and avoid further load shedding.

Mr Matjila is currently the CEO of COSATU’s investment arm, Kopano ke Matla. This in itself should render him unsuitable. COSATU forms part of the tripartite alliance, and therefore has major access to government decisions. This is a conflict of interest, which will open the power utility to more scandal – as was witnessed when Chancellor House linked firms were awarded tenders for the multi-billion rand Medupi project.

The controversy does not end here:

In April 2012, Mr Matjila was reportedly forced to resign as chairman of construction group, Raubex, over Raubex’s involvement in Gauteng’s e-tolling project.

In June 2012, following an investigation by the Financial Services Board (FSB) into alleged corruption and maladministration, Kopano ke Matla’s licence to manage employee benefits of 400 000 former Bophuthatswana employees was revoked. Mr Matjila is also reported to have received R1.33 million from Kopano’s transactions through payments to his company Summerlane, which he described as “personal commissions” when confronted by FSB inspectors. FSB reportedly described the transaction as “unusual and suspicious”.

In addition Mr Matjila was reportedly implicated in the controversial sale of the old Cosatu’s headquarters, and the purchase of the new headquarters. It has been reported that the old Cosatu headquarters was sold for R10 million less than its market value. Furthermore, the Sizwe Ntsaluba Gobodo audit found irregularities with regard to the purchase of the new Cosatu House building, which was reportedly purchased at an inflated price at over R50 million. Kopano ke Matla acted as transaction aisor on both deals.

Despite the above-mentioned findings, Mr Matjila, astonishingly continues to serve on the Eskom board.

In light of the on-going crisis at Eskom, questionable leadership, now more than ever, cannot be entertained. Mr Matjila’s appointment and continued presence on the Eskom board is yet another example of how Jacob Zuma’s ANC is more interested in its politically connected elite – at the cost to the South African people.

The bottom line is that the South African public cannot afford more bungles at Eskom.

Eskom must urgently correct this mistake and appoint an appropriate acting CEO without delay.

Natasha Michael, Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises

Source : Democratic Alliance