Eskom pension fund also wants court to order Brian Molefe to pay back the money

Since former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe has not yet paid back monies the High Court ruled he owed the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund in January 2018, the fund has now applied to the High Court in Pretoria for an order that would enforce the judgment.

"The High Court in Pretoria in January 2018 set aside Molefe's retirement and directed that he repays the amounts paid to him by virtue of his purported retirement," said the EPPF. This was in a matter initiated by the union Solidarity, which turned to the courts to try to force Molefe to pay back the money.

Molefe was ordered to repay about R10m, which was found to have been illegally paid out to him by the EPPF. Molefe subsequently unsuccessfully turned to the Supreme Court of Appeal and the Constitutional Court.

According to a statement issued by the EPPF, in its recent court application, it wants the court to order the set-off of the amounts owed by Molefe against the benefit he transferred into the EPPF from the Transnet Retirement Fund (TRF) of which he had been a prior member.

The EPPF further wants the court order to "direct" Molefe to repay the balance that remains owing after the set-off.  

According to the EPPF, the amount from the TRF originally became payable to Molefe by the TRF when he left his employment with Transnet and he elected instead to transfer it into the EPPF.

The EPPF also seeks an order directing the SA Revenue Service (SARS) to refund all taxes paid to it by the EPPF as a result of Molefe's retirement. According to the court documents, this amounts to about R2.417m.
 
The EPPF added that the matter regarding its recent court application is sub judice and it will, therefore, only comment fully once these proceedings have been concluded.

"We assure our members and stakeholders that the fund is pursuing all avenues available in law to ensure that the order of the High Court is fully complied with," it concludes.

According to the court documents in support of its application, the EPPF wants the court to declare that admitting Molefe as a member of the EPF and accepting a lump sum it received from the TRF for Molefe were both irregular steps.

The EPPF further claims that a lump sum it paid to Molefe was irregular and it wants the court to order Molefe to repay R7.769m.

Anton van der Bijl, head of Solidarity's legal department, told Fin24 on Tuesday that the initial high court judgment against Molefe also ruled that he (Molefe) had to pay the union's legal fees. This amounted to about R791 000 for the initial supreme court case and the subsequent Supreme Court of Appeal Case, and has already been paid by Molefe. Solidarity's legal costs for the Constitutional Court part of the matter - about R80 000 - have, however, not yet been paid by Molefe.

"It seems the EPPF wants to make amends for its mistakes regarding Molefe. However, whether Molefe actually wants to amend his mistakes (and repay the money) does not seem clear," said Van der Bijl. "We hope the matter can be resolved to the benefit of all Eskom employees en EPPF beneficiaries."

Molefe told Fin24 that he did not want to comment on the matter.

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