Matshela Koko has hit back at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) after charges against him, his relatives, and others were dropped.
The group appeared in the Middelburg Magistrate's Court on Tuesday following an application for judgment in the unreasonable delay application.
The former Eskom interim Chief Executive appeared alongside his wife Mosima Koko and Koko’s stepdaughters, Koketso Aren and Thato Choma, Eskom Project Director at Kusile Hlupheka Sithole, Johannes Coetzee, Watson Seswai, Lese’tsa Johannes Mutchinya, and SA Local Government Association Chief Executive Thabo Mokwena, on charges of fraud, corruption, and money laundering arising from alleged irregular contracts granted for the building of Kusile power station, valued at over R2 billion.
The court struck the matter off the roll, adding that there have been unreasonable delays in the case.
In a scathing statement just hours after the ruling, Koko spoke about why he was fired from his position and charged, and the impact it has had on his family.
"A Cabinet decision was taken on January 18, 2018, to dismiss me from Eskom because the Cabinet, in its wisdom, decided I was corrupt. President Cyril Ramaphosa admitted on August 11, 2021, at the Zondo Commission that he fired me, but it was a joint decision of the Cabinet," Koko said.
𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝗼𝗳 𝗘𝗻𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗲𝗲𝗿 𝗠𝗮𝘁𝘀𝗵𝗲𝗹𝗮 𝗞𝗼𝗸𝗼— Engineer Matšhela Koko, MBL (@koko_matshela) November 21, 2023
November 21, 2023.
Reference is made to Psalm of Moses - Psalm 91: 7-12
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He said Ramaphosa claimed he (Koko) was fired because he (Ramaphosa) wanted to avert a severe crisis at the utility.
"...so that it could be unbundled to allow the IPPs unfettered access at the expense of Eskom. This is evidenced by the current state of the electricity disaster, with no end in sight. Eskom recorded the worst net loss after tax of R23.9 billion in 2023. Despite a 9.61 electricity tariff increase granted by the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (Nersa), Eskom will never be the same," Koko said.
"The National Director of Public Prosecution must re-enrol the matter whenever she thinks the matter is trial-ready," he said, adding that the NPA misdirected itself by charging him.
"It did not act without fear, favour, or prejudice. They were doing somebody a favour. What is hurtful to me is that the NPA was commended by well-respected constituencies in our society for the unlawful arrests," Koko said.
Turning his sights on the media, Koko slammed journalists for their reporting on the matter.
"The journalists failed the simple test. They saw nothing comical when the NPA obfuscated about the docket of more than a billion pages. The narrative that I am corrupt is too attractive for the media to be objective," he said.
Koko said he has no intention of holding public office or sitting on any board.
"I look forward to living my life as a private citizen and doing the best I can for my family. The damage done to my family is immeasurable," he said.
Meanwhile, the NPA is confident that the Eskom Kusile R2.2 billion matter will be re-enrolled as soon as outstanding aspects of the investigation are completed.
“It should be noted that this decision is not tantamount to an acquittal or withdrawal of the charges. The ID will continue investigating the case in line with the original case strategy that it developed for this complex matter,” Investigating Directorate spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka said.
She explained that the delays were not anticipated at the time of the arrest of the accused due to the complex nature of the case, the extent and sheer volume, and the digital nature of the evidence seized, in particular subsequent to the arrest and enrolment.
“Work on the compilation of the outstanding reports is ongoing. The ID will re-apply for the matter to be re-enrolled within a reasonable period of time, and as soon as the outstanding aspects of the investigation have been completed,” she said.