CAPE TOWN - Eskom chief operating officer Jan Oberholzer has been cleared of all allegations of corruption, dishonesty, abuse of power and conflict of interest in an investigation conducted by senior counsel, the power utility said on Wednesday.
"The senior counsel has found no basis to the allegations of dishonesty, corruption, conflict of interest and abuse of power levelled against the COO," Eskom said in a statement.
The investigation was carried out by advocate Nazzir Cassim, who began his probe on March 20 and reported back to the Eskom board on April 4.
An Eskom spokesperson said the board had considered Cassim's findings.
These included that Oberholzer had properly disclosed his shareholding in Stefanutti Stocks and that “this is not a matter in which he should face a disciplinary hearing”.
Cassim further found that there had been no improper conduct on Oberholzer's part relating to a contract Eskom signed with Black and Veatch in 2007. It also dismissed claims that Oberholzer had victimised an employee who put forth allegations of misconduct on his part.
Oberholzer was reported to the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture. The allegations against him were taken up by, among others, South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) boss Zwelinzima Vavi, who demanded that Eskom fire its COO.
"While the investigation found that the relationship between Mr Oberholzer and the employee who made allegations of victimisation had been characterised by tension, the senior counsel did not find that there was victimisation or that any further legal processes should follow," Eskom said.
"On all the other allegations against Mr Oberholzer that were put before the senior counsel, the board is satisfied that these have been fully and adequately ventilated and investigated, and that there is no cause for any action against Mr Oberholzer."
Eskom said the board was committed to good corporate governance and would investigate all allegations against any of its employees, regardless of their position.
Oberholzer has spent most of his career with Eskom.