Eskom’s group executive for generation, Matshela Koko has been named the frontrunner for the utility’s chief executive position following Brian Molefe’s shocking resignation on Friday.

While Eskom spokesman Khulu Phasiwe was saying on Friday that it was too early to pronounce Molefe’s replacement, about two sources who are familiar with the developments in the utility, said Koko who was among four executives suspended by former chairman Zola Tsotsi last year, was the most likely successor to Molefe.

Koko has been the most vocal Eskom executive about the nuclear build programme and Eskom’s displeasure with the costs of renewable energy.

Matshela Koko previously headed Eskom’s technology and commercial business. He said in September that Eskom could pay for the nuclear build programme by cash reserves which he said would have accumulated to R150 billion in 10 years’ time. While his former colleagues, including Tshediso Matona, former chief executive, settled with the utility, Matshela Koko held out and eventually returned to the crucial generation head role.

Eskom would probably appoint someone willing to facilitate “rent extraction” and who would ensure the implementation of the nuclear programme.

The last good chief executive, Matona, was out after just a few months because he was too clean. They will not make that mistake again.

Molefe announced his resignation following his rumored closeness to the Gupta family. His public utterances laid a fertile ground for suggestions in the public protector’s report that Eskom was bending over backwards for Tegeta Exploration & Resources.