Providing context around invitation of ex-Eskom exco

06 March 2024 | Emer Prof Daya Reddy

Dear colleagues and students

Over the past few days there has been considerable media coverage, commentary, and opinions expressed about the participation by former Eskom executive Mr Matshela Koko in a final-year engineering class on Friday, 1 March 2024.

The purpose of this communication is to clarify the circumstances around Mr Koko’s participation, and in this regard to set the record straight.

Students in a fourth-year course had been assigned the task of writing an opinion piece on Mr Koko’s term as acting Eskom CEO, using all information available in the public domain, as part of a case study on ethics and professionalism.

Following completion of their assignments, Mr Koko was invited to address the class and participate in a discussion centred on their assignment topic.

The lecturer for this course invites around five or six guests each year, often senior individuals in industry or political leaders. Such practice is not uncommon in courses located in one or other of the professional degree programmes. In addition, such engagements provide a space for contestation of sometimes varying ideas, and seek to hone students’ ability to reason critically, to act ethically, and to judge professionally.

Following Mr Koko’s presentation and discussion, students were asked to submit a critical reflection on their own investigation in relation to his contribution.

Media reports referring to Mr Koko having been invited to lecture students on ethics and professionalism are therefore incorrect, and highly misleading.

Mr Koko has not been “endorsed” by the department concerned, much less by the university.

It is appropriate also, in light of references in media reports to the Zondo Commission, to affirm and confirm UCT’s endorsement of the work done by the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, as well as its findings. UCT has in the past through various public communication expressed support for the Zondo Commission and all other efforts aimed at understanding and remediating state capture and corruption. As an institution, UCT has previously made a public call against state capture.


Emer Prof Daya Reddy
Vice-Chancellor interim

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