The case of fraud, corruption, and money laundering against former Eskom CEO Matshela Koko and nine co-accused, including his wife, has been postponed to Thursday. Koko and his co-accused appeared in the Middelburg Magistrate’s Court in Mpumalanga, where they applied for their case to be struck off the roll.
The matter was postponed due to the unavailability of an Afrikaans court interpreter. The investigating officer was also called to the stand to clarify six outstanding matters before a decision could be made on whether to strike the case off the roll.
It’s been a year since Koko and nine other accused were arrested in connection with the R2.2 billion corruption at the Kusile Power Station in eMalahleni, Mpumalanga.
The matter has been marred by postponements and the accused have applied for it to be struck off the roll. They are claiming that the state is not yet ready to proceed.
The state indicated that it needs a four-month postponement to tie loose ends. Some of the state witnesses are reported to be in Germany and the United States of America.
Magistrate Stanley Jacobs wanted some other matters clarified before he could hand down judgment with regard to the accused’s application.
Judgment expected in Matshela Koko’s court application to have case struck off the roll:
“When I was preparing for the judgment, there were matters that were not clear to me; hence, I have indicated that I want to call the investigating officer to come and clarify the matters. I wouldn’t compromise your positions if I proceeded with calling the witness, or I would want to be indulgent so that the court can give a fair opportunity to engage with the witness that the court is intending because this witness has deposited an affidavit already.”
NPA Spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboko says they are not to blame for today’s postponement.
Seboko elaborates, “The presiding magistrate has requested the matter be moved to September Friday to today because of his availability; secondly, he then requested the investigating officer be present so that he can take a stand once again, which is not our doing. It was the presiding magistrate because he wanted certain elements or questions answered. We then made arrangements with the court interpreter of Afrikaans to be present; we also placed it on record, and the magistrate confirmed arrangements have been made because of the scarcity of an Afrikaans interpreter, which is not the preview of the investigating directorate.”
Meanwhile, Koko reiterated his previous utterances that the state’s case is weak.
“But I think the state is in for a hiding, I think the state did not expect that the magistrate would say he would want the investigating officer in the witness box, We would have an opportunity to examine the investigating officer but let me tell you, it doesn’t matter the decision whether he grant them postponement or not, you guys you are in court this is downhill , this matter is downhill. It is more than a year I’ve been dragged to court, woke up at 06:00 in the morning and today we have been told after 12 months that the state is not ready to take the matter to pre-trail. I don’t have a bank account; my kid doesn’t have a bank account, children don’t have bank accounts, we have been prejudiced, this is persecution not prosecution.”