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As South Africa continues to struggle under the burden of constant load-shedding, the news has broken that former Eskom acting CEO Matshela Koko, his wife Mosima Koko, and his stepdaughter Koketso Choma have finally been nabbed by the law. The trio was arrested on 27 October 2022 on charges of corruption. This after it was reported last month that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was finalising its case against the former executive.

The charges, according to News24, relate to a multibillion-rand contract Eskom entered into with Swedish-Swiss engineering company Asea Brown Boveri (ABB) in 2015. ABB subcontracted to a local company, Impulse International, where Choma was a shareholder. Choma’s cut of the deal was R30-million, some of which passed to Mosima Koko. 

Koko was the head of energy generation at the time.  

Thabo Owen Mokoena, the owner of a company named Leago Engineering which was initially awarded a R96-million subcontract by ABB before the latter subcontracted with Impulse International, was also arrested. 

The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, led by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, found that Koko was “an integral component of the Gupta family’s strategy to capture Eskom”, News24 reports. 

In July this year the NPA’s Investigative Directorate arrested two former ABB employees for corruption related to that contract, said to be worth around R2.2-billion and relating to work on Kusile power station. Their spouses were also taken into custody as they were said to have benefited too.

Gupta assistant

In his report on Eskom, released in April 2022, Zondo recommended that Koko should be criminally investigated for his role in the entrenchment of state capture. Zondo said that without the co-operation of Brian Molefe as CEO, Anoj Singh as CFO, and Koko as head of energy generation, McKinsey, Regiments and Trillian would not have benefited from their capture of Eskom.  

Koko, who was suspended in March 2015, along with three of Eskom’s top executives in March 2015, was found by Zondo to have returned to his job under suspicious circumstances. He was the only one of the four to return and, Zondo found, because he was part of the Gupta scheme, he was required to play

On his return in July of that year, Koko brought with him project plans that appeared to be designed for the appointment of Gupta-linked companies Regiments, and later Trillian, as business development partners to larger contractor McKinsey and Company, and would cost Eskom millions of rands, Zondo found. He added: “It is plain that Mr Koko’s suspension was a ruse … the Guptas and their associates must have identified Mr Koko much earlier as someone who could work with them to advance their capture of Eskom and, therefore, their business interests.”