Mbalula must protect witnesses in Koko disciplinary hearing

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As former Eskom Acting CEO, Matsela Koko’s disciplinary hearing resumes on Thursday this week, the DA will write to the Minister of Police, Fikile Mbalula, to ensure that the protection of key witnesses is guaranteed.

Two key witnesses, France Hlakudi and Abram Masango, were issued letters of suspension for allegations of misconduct, which are seeming attempts to prevent them from appearing before the hearing.

This has led to the subsequent resignation of Hlakudi.

This unprofessional treatment of witnesses should not be allowed to stand and it seems that this is a ploy to intimidate and frustrate them into silence.

There is a thin line between these actions and threatening the physical safety of witnesses and whistle blowers, and the Minister should be equally concerned as this could potentially compromise the outcomes of the hearing.

This disciplinary hearing has been set up to  get to the bottom of serious matters concerning the power utility and the extent of corruption and flouting of procurement processes under Koko.

If witnesses are victimised or threaten, the hearing will not be able to fully investigate the serious allegations.

For Koko to account for his questionable conduct while at the helm of Eskom, Minister Mbalula must provide an undertaking to Parliament that he will ensure the safety of the witnesses who believe that their safety is being threatened.

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