The Eskom board confirms that its former boss, Brian Molefe would by Monday, return to head the power utility again.
Molefe who officially resigned in January this year, following his implication in the state capture report compiled by the former public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, will be returning to his old job.
This comes after a decision by the power utility’s board to revoke his application for early retirement because it could not agree with him “on a mutually beneficial pension proposal.”
Questions were raised about R30 million payout after Brian Molefe chose to resign as CEO last year. The minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, rejected the proposed pension payout even after the Eskom board approved it.
Eskom’s Khulani Qoma said that the board remains confident that Molefe’s pension payout was legitimate but Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown asked them to review it.
“All this is happening on the basis of what the minister requested. The minister had already made her intentions very clear that she wasn’t happy with this payout,” he said.
Eskom chairperson Ben Ngubane added that with Brown’s consent, the utility had reinstated Molefe’s contract of employment, which ends in September 2020. “The board was required to rescind its decision having regard to the Minister’s concerns,” he said.
Brian Molefe served as an ANC Member of Parliament (MP) for barely three months. with the news of his resumption at the state’s power utility, he is likely to end his job at the parliament this weekend.
In November last year, Brian tendered his resignation saying it was in the interest of good corporate governance following Thuli’s report that reveals he had been in constant contact with the Gupta family while the family company Tegeta Exploration and Resources, were buying a coal mine and supplying to Eskom.
Meanwhile, the Financial Mail’s Sikonathi Mantshantsha said Brian Molefe worked at Eskom for 18 months and only six months in the past financial year.
Eskom legal and compliance acting head Suzanne Daniels also explained that when Molefe stepped down, he had made a formal application for early retirement “in terms of the rules.”
The Eskom Pension and Provident Fund had processed Molefe’s application for early retirement prior to Brown’s intervention. “Molefe had been classified as a retired person on the system. In terms of that, he received one-third commutation,” Daniels said.
Ngubane, however, noted how delighted he is at Brian Molefe’s return, saying he was “absolutely delighted” to welcome him back at the entity.
“We are facing serious problems. None of our applications for coal purchases had been approved by the Treasury. We need that skill that saved us last time. When he came here, Eskom was on the brink of collapse” he said.