Brian Molefe petitions Supreme Court over pension payout

Brian Molefe: Resigned, retired, retrenched, retained...? (Pic: Gallo Images)
Brian Molefe: Resigned, retired, retrenched, retained...? (Pic: Gallo Images)

Johannesburg – Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe has petitioned the Supreme Court to appeal against the high court decision which ruled that he must pay back part of the R30m pension he received from the firm.

Molefe is making an application for leave to appeal the whole judgment of the North Gauteng High Court set down in April. 

In papers seen by Fin24, Molefe says the court “erred in its finding that the early retirement agreement was a deliberate scheme devised by Eskom with my involvement to afford me pension benefits to which I was not entitled”.

He maintains that the agreement was concluded on the basis of a “common (mis) understanding” by him, Eskom and the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (PPF) rules.

He also argues that his departure from the power utility “was not a resignation, but was a (purported) consensual early retirement” which was subsequently found to be contrary to the Eskom PPF rules. 

In April, the North Gauteng High Court dismissed Molefe’s application for leave to appeal, saying there was no prospect that another court would come to a different conclusion.

He was required to pay about R11m of the R30m he received from Eskom following his early departure in November 2016.

Molefe resigned after his name was implicated in a damning Public Protector report on state capture.

According to a copy of the papers filed on Tuesday, Molefe claims that he never received a sum of R30m as widely reported, but instead got a cash portion of the pension benefits which amounted to R7.7m.

He says the benefit was “erroneously” afforded to him.

He appeals that the State of Capture report published by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela in November 2016 “contained unfounded observations about me”.

Trade union Solidarity, which brought the court challenge against Molefe together with the Democratic Alliance, said it has already instructed its legal team to oppose the petition.

“We are extremely disappointed in Mr Molefe’s decision to petition the court. He unlawfully received taxayers’ money. With this decision he once again failed a character test,” said Solidarity chief executive Dirk Hermann.

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