NEWS
24/01/2018 17:40 SAST | Updated 24/01/2018 17:40 SAST

Eskom's Matshela Koko: 'Trip To Dubai Was A Family Holiday'

“I did direct payments myself. If you bother to contact the hotel, you’ll establish such.”

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Matshela Koko

Eskom head of generation Matshela Koko on Tuesday denied that a visit he made to Dubai in January 2016 was paid for by the Guptas.

He told the parliamentary inquiry probing allegations of corruption and mismanagement at the power utility that the trip was, in fact, part of a family holiday, which he had paid for himself.

Inquiry evidence leader Ntuthuzelo Vanara asked him to provide details of the trip.

"Around January 2016, did you pay a visit to Dubai, and, if so, who was responsible for the expenses of that trip?

Koko acknowledged he was in Dubai at that time.

"On December 23 [2015]... my family and myself went to Bali. We flew through Doha. When we returned [in January], three of my daughters came back through Doha. My wife and I and my son came via Dubai. I'm happy to present the passports for the six members of my family."

Regarding the expenses, Koko said he paid the bills

"I did direct payments myself. If you bother to contact the hotel, you'll establish such."

Vanara then asked: "And you confirm Sahara Computers did not pay? You confirm you paid?"

Koko told him: "Sahara Computers did not pay for my travels at all."

Emails leaked to the media last year suggest that Koko's 2016 trip to Dubai was paid for by the Guptas.

Mails reportedly passed between the Oberoi Hotel in Dubai and the head of Gupta-owned Sahara Computers, Ashu Chawla.

One apparently confirms Koko's reservation, and the arrangement of transfer to the hotel from the airport. There is also a request for billing instructions.

Chawla responds: "Sahara will pay the entire bill. Please do not ask any credit card guarantee from the guest at the time of the check-in."

The hotel's concierge responds: "Please note the chauffeur details mentioned below for the drop towards Emirates Hill [sic]."

At the time, Koko was Eskom's group executive for power generation.