Eskom suspends senior officials ahead of inquiry

By Staff Writer
At a media briefing earlier today, Eskom chairperson Zola Tsotsi announced that Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona, along with three other executives have been suspended while an independent inquiry is conducted.

In a statement, Tsotsi said: “To ensure that this process is as transparent and uninhibited as possible, the Board has also resolved that four of its senior executives, including the Chief Executive, should step down for the duration of this enquiry.”

In an article on FIN24, it states that the members of the inquiry panel will have “full access to the suspended executives.”

The replacements

Eskom has revealed that Zethembe Khoza, a non-executive board member, has been asked to fill the position of interim CEO.

Nonkululeko Veleti has been asked to take the place of finance director Tsholofelo Molefe.

Dan Marokane head of group capital will be temporarily replaced by Abram Masango.

Edwin Mabelane will replace Matshela Koko as head of the commercial and technology department.

A press statement on the Eskom website provides background information on the interim appointees.

·         Nonkululeko Veleti is a registered chartered accountant and has been with the organisation for almost 14 years working in the finance department.

·         Abram Masango, a qualified engineer, has been with Eskom for over 18 years and is currently Project Director at Kusile. He brings to the role many years of valuable experience, having occupied various senior positions within the organisation.

·         Edwin Mabelane has been with the organisation for 21 years. He is a qualified engineer has been a very senior executive before this appointment. He brings into the role many years of valuable experience.

Tsotsi highlighted: “[We] would like to assure our customers and employees that this was done in the best interest of all our stakeholders, and we hope to come out of this with a better grasp of all the challenges facing the business, and most importantly, with solutions.”

Concern over the suspensions

Natasha Mazzone, Democratic Alliance (DA) Shadow Minister of public enterprises, has expressed concern about the suspensions at Eskom. “The surprise institution of such an inquiry, at a time when Eskom is buffeted by a myriad of crises, raises serious questions as to who will lead the country out of the darkness imposed by daily load shedding.”

Mazzone adds that she will contact the Minister of public enterprises Lynne Brown, “imploring her to account to Parliament that the members of the inquiry panel will be appointed without delay, that they will complete their work expeditiously and table their findings in Parliament.”

She notes that the suspensions leave Eskom without its top management in a time when the utility is facing a crisis. “Minister Brown must be forthcoming with reasons as to why this step was taken now and reassure the South African public that no hidden agendas are being pursued in the name of good corporate governance.”

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