Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe reportedly scored himself a “golden handshake” worth several millions of rand.
Sunday Times reported that a R30 million payout was given to Molefe in March following just 18 months at the helm of the power utility.
The report further stated that Public Enterprises Minister Lynn Brown denied any knowledge of the payout to Molefe, tagging it an operational issue at the parastatal.
“I am not aware that Eskom has paid Brian any severance package, but, then again, those are operational matters managed by the board — it is only brought to my attention if it is unusual,” she said.
Nevertheless, the paper explains that it saw documents from Eskom, detailing the alleged payment made on March 23. The documents show that Molefe was paid R30.1-milliom on the aforementioned date. which named it variously as “severance” pay and an “Eskom pension fund” payment.
Meanwhile, Molefe’s payout has ruffled a few feathers and sparked controversy due to irregularities. Notably, there are conflicting explanations for the payment. While one document described it as a pension payout, another document said it is a severance cost. All these were reportedly seen by the paper.
It gets even more interesting. Speaking on the eyebrow-raising amount paid to the former Eskom CEO, a labour expert, who expressed concerns about the use of taxpayer money in what could be described as a “mutual settlement agreement”, said the amount appeared “very irregular”.
A breakdown of the irregularity shows that if the payment was severance, it should only have been no more than R15 million. Again, for him to receive up to R30 million as a pension payout, Molefe would have needed to be on a gross annual salary of R243 million a year. However, he actually only earned R8 million a year.
Notwithstanding, Molefe says he has been paid what is due to him but didn’t reveal the figure. He now earns about R1.1-million a year as an ANC backbencher in parliament.
Molefe invited nationwide scorn and had to resign from Eskom after he got roped in Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s State Capture report. It was revealed in the State of Capture report that he had exchanged 58 calls with Atul Gupta. The report also detailed how cellphone records had placed Molefe in Saxonwold several times around the time of the controversial Tegeta-Optimum coal mine deal. He allegedly reserved mouth-watering deals for companies owned by the Gupta family.
At the time of his resignation from Eskom, Molefe emphasised that his submission should not be misconstrued as an admission of guilt.