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It’s insane to have a non-engineer run Eskom

Former statistician-general Dr. Pali Lehohla is adamant that any plans to turn around the fortunes of the struggling power utility Eskom would fail as long as CEO Andre de Ruyter was in charge.

According to IOL, Lehohla, when interviewed on eNCA about the IOL article published a month ago in which he said former Eskom CEO Matshela Koko was better suited to turn around the power utility, stated that an engineer was what Eskom required.

Lehohla said, “You can see from reading the article that I advised bringing an engineer, and Matshela Koko has worked for us at Eskom. If you discover a problem with him, you should arrest him. Indeed, this has occurred. Charge, prosecute, and imprison him if he is found guilty. He has stated on record that the law must run its course.

Therefore, there is no inconsistency with what I stated in the paper.
Last month, Lehohla insisted that Eskom could not be managed by someone who was not a licensed engineer.

“The engineering and economic might of Eskom is unmatched. It is a creature of both technology and commerce. Engineers and economists are not in charge at the moment. You cannot therefore count on it to work. After all, it is run by lawmakers and accountants who are trying to understand Eskom’s logic.”

“Accountants cannot comprehend Eskom’s logic. Economists must comprehend this logic and translate it from the perspective of an engineer into a financial vehicle.

Presently, an accountant is attempting to translate the perspective of Eskom’s politicians,” he said at the time. Despite a new board, Lehohla stated on Friday that it was absurd to have a person who isn’t an engineer run Eskom.

“Well, they made a mistake if the captain is not an engineer who must interpret engineering-related matters.” It is inappropriate. According to many, (the new board) represents a turnaround; however, a turnaround led by a non-specialist is doomed to fail. He requires an interpreter constantly.” said Lehohla.

READ MORE: Matšhela Koko arrested hours before tell all interview

De Ruyter stated that he should be given engineers to lead. How in the world could a chief justice not be an attorney? This is completely and utterly absurd. I continue to insist that we need an engineer on the Eskom executive team, as Eskom is an engineering system.

Lehohla stated that when he mentioned Koko, he did not mean that the arrested and charged with corruption former CEO was the only person capable of turning around the power utility.

“I wasn’t specifically referring to Koko. He has stated that he will never return to Eskom. “I was using an engineer as a metaphor, and it was in this context that I mentioned Koko,” he explained.

Following a brief appearance before the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga on Thursday, Koko was granted R300 000 bail on charges of fraud, corruption, and money laundering.

Koko, along with his wife, his stepdaughters, appeared in court in connection with an R2.8 billion corruption case.

Sindisiwe Seboka of the Investigative Directorate (ID) of the NPA explained that the charges involved the construction of the Kusile power station.

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