Eskom's Sean Maritz steps down, dodges disciplinary hearing

Cape Town - Eskom's former interim CEO Sean Maritz has resigned from the power utility. 

Eskom said in a statement on Thursday that by stepping down Maritz would no longer face an upcoming disciplinary hearing.  

"Maritz’s resignation comes against the backdrop of serious charges of misconduct that were levelled against him, that would have been adjudicated at his disciplinary hearing scheduled for 8 - 9 March 2018," Eskom said in a statement on Thursday. 

"The disciplinary process to hold Maritz to account for any proven wrongdoing can no longer be pursued in light of clear legal precedent that a resignation by an employee unilaterally terminates the employment relationship," it said.

"Eskom has, as a result, accepted Maritz’s resignation with immediate effect."

The power utility said it reserves the right to institute legal action in respect of "any damages that the company may have suffered arising from his actions at Eskom, and to enforce its legal rights under the Pension Funds Act".

Maritz is the second senior Eskom executive to recently have his disciplinary hearing terminated by stepping down. In mid-February the group's former CEO Matshela Koko submitted a letter of resignation while his disciplinary hearing was taking place.  

Rotation 

Maritz, the group's former Group Executive for Information Technology, had been placed on permanent suspension pending an investigation into allegations of impropriety in late January 2018.  

He was named Eskom's interim group chief executive in early October 2017, taking over from Johnny Dladla. At the time the power utility's board said Maritz's appointment was part of a decision to rotate the interim chief executive position.

The board has since been changed. 

Maritz's suspension is understood to be connected, in part, to a letter written on January 16 2018 to global consultancy McKinsey stating that a controversial R1bn payment made to it by Eskom was lawful, despite the power utility previously saying the opposite. 

The consultancy has previously said it is ready to pay back the money. 

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