Molefe’s reappointment at Eskom is a farce and will be challenged - Outa

Brian Molefe.
Brian Molefe.

Cape Town – The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) believes Eskom cannot simply reinstate Brian Molefe as Eskom CEO, as the position needs to be readvertised and a candidate properly appointed.

“As far as we understand, Mr Molefe had resigned as the CEO for the sake of good governance at a time when his leadership was questioned under the cloud of the Public Protector’s State of Capture report.

“Eskom cannot simply reinstate Mr Molefe. The position needs to be readvertised and a candidate properly appointed,” it said.

However, Eskom board spokesperson Khulani Qoma told Fin24 on Friday that Molefe said resigned, but was granted early retirement.

“He didn’t resign,” he said. “He applied for early retirement. When he left, it was on the basis of early retirement that was approved by the board.”

Ted Blom, Outa’s portfolio director of energy and a former Eskom employee, said the Eskom board and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown needs to explain in detail what is going on here.

“This is the most senior executive position of this strategic state entity and there have been far too many questions surrounding Mr Molefe’s conduct during his short 18-month tenure as CEO,” he said.

Outsa said it will write to both Eskom chairperson Ben Ngubane Brown on Friday, “seeking absolute clarity on this matter, whereafter it will consider legal options and avenues available”.

NUM: We can comment appropriately on this joke

Meanwhile, the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) said the situation is “contributing towards making Eskom one of the weakest organisations in terms of leadership”.

“We will await a proper invitation from Eskom so that we can comment appropriately on this joke,” it said in a statement on Friday.  

“The NUM would like Eskom to extend its new HR policy to its members and other employees who can exercise their right to resign or take early pension voluntarily and later return to their previous position without loss of benefits.

“The NUM will further engage on the matter extensively during its special NEC  on Tuesday next week where a final organisational position will be communicated on this matter.”

Molefe agreed to return to Eskom as its chief executive on Monday, after the board rescinded his application for early retirement, Qoma confirmed on Friday.

Molefe quit in November 2016 following former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report and has been a Member of Parliament for the past three months.

Qoma said the board met after Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown objected to Eskom’s R30m pension payout to Molefe, which she only discovered through a story in the Sunday Times on April 16.

Eskom chairperson Ben Ngubane told Business Report “that in accordance with the minister’s instructions, the parties attempted to find a mutually acceptable pension proposal, but were unable to reach such an arrangement.”

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