Ghosts of Eskom past: CEOs from 2000 to 2016

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Eskom yesterday announced that Group Executive of Generation, Matshela Koko, is the man who is set to take over from exiting CEO, Brian Molefe.

Molefe resigned in November, following allegations that alluded to a relationship with the Gupta family as well as allegations that deals that were struck between businesses owned by the Guptas and Eskom.

Eskom CEOs have had it rough over the last decade, mainly because they were all involved in one scandal or another, which led to either their resignations or dismissals.

Here’s a look back at all the men who’ve led the power utility from the year 2000.

Thulani Gcabashe 2000 – 2007

Thulani Gcabashe

Gcabashe was the first black man to be Eskom’s CEO when he took over from Allen Morgan in 2000. He had previously worked for the company as member of its executive committee team and then deputy CEO in 1999.

He has a Bachelor of Arts (UBLS) and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning at the Ball State University (USA) and completed the Programme for Executive Development (IMD) at Lousanne Switzerland.

During his time, Gcabashe pushed hard to have government consider building new power plants that could service South Africa’s growing demand for electricity.

To date, Gcabashe was the longest serving Eskom CEO in the 21st century.

Jacob Maroga 2007 – 2009

Jacob Maroga

Maroga moved from being Eskom’s Managing Director of the Transmission Division, to take over from Gcabashe in 2007.

He holds a B.Sc. in Engineering (Electrical) from Wits University and completed a number of business programmes overseas at institutions such as Harvard.

His term came to an abrupt end in 2009 when he was let go after having allegedly voluntarily tendered his resignation.

The matter was taken to court when Maroga argued that power utility either pay him R85 million in compensation or reinstate him as CEO, alleging the board had illegally fired him under the veil of a voluntary resignation.

Maroga’s case was dismissed with costs, after Judge Thokozile Masipa (the same judge who ruled in the Oscar Pistorius case) ruled in favour of Eskom.

Maroga tried to appeal the judgement but also lost the application.

Mpho Makwana 2009 – 2010


Makwana acted as Eskom CEO during the time Maroga left and the power utility was in search of a new CEO.

He was also chairman of the board during the same time, having served as non-executive member since 2002.

He holds a BA Admin Honours Degree from the University of Pretoria.

Brian Dames 2010 – 2013

Brian Dames
Brian Dames

Dames officialy took over as CEO in mid-2010, after having served as Chief Executive of its Generation Business.

Dames joined Eskom as a young graduate in training in 1987. Dames holds a BSc Honours Degree from the University of the Western Cape, an MBA from Stamford University in the US and a Graduate Diploma in Utility Management from the University of Stellenbosch.

Dames resigned in 2014 due to “personal reasons”, having led Eskom to a positive R12.2 billion profit by the end of September 2013.

Collin Matjila 2014

Former chairperson of the National Energy Regulator of SA, Collin Matjila, was appointed acting CEO after Dames’ departure.

Matjila holds a BA degree in Law from the University of Lesotho and an LLB from Wits University. He also holds Management Advanced Programme (MAP) and Senior Executive Programme (SEP) diplomas from Harvard University, obtained in 1999.

Tshediso Matona 2014 – 2015

Tshediso Matona
Tshediso Matona

Matona was appointed CEO in 2014, but before he could really sink his teeth into his position, he was suspended in 2015, along with three other executives, due to after an investigation was launched into the power producer’s inner workings and why it was struggling to avoid load shedding.

Matona had formerly worked as the director-general at the Department of Public Enterprises.

Eskom and Matona eventually agreed to part ways amicably and he was given a golden handshake of an undisclosed amount.

He holds an honours degrees in Economics and Political Science from the University of Cape Town, a masters degree in Development Economics from the University of East Anglia, UK and certificates in Executive Management and Infrastructure Development from Harvard University.

Brian Molefe 2015 – 2016

Brian Molefe
Brian Molefe

Molefe left Transnet to take over as acting CEO shortly after Matona’s departure. He was made permanent later in 2015 and had set an ambitious target of no loadshedding throughout 2016 – a feat the power utility achieved this year.

Molefe holds a Masters of Business Leadership and Bachelor of Commerce from Unisa and certificates in Executive Management and Infrastructure Development from Harvard University.

Molefe stepped down as CEO in November after allegations in former Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela’s report on State Capture, about his relationship with the Gupta family and its shady business relations with Eskom.