Amid all trials set against him at the court of law, embattled Brian Molefe, the former Eskom CEO is soliciting that he gets his job back at the power utility.
Brian who was also a former ANC MP and currently, an army officer, had a hot argument with the Democratic Alliance at the high court in Pretoria on Wednesday, where he defended his decision to leave Eskom in November last year.
He argued that he remains the chief executive of Eskom because he never actually resigned as Eskom boss and was therefore, entitled to return to his post at the energy giant.
He turned again and said he left the power utility for a while because he was engaged in a criminal conspiracy that almost tarnished his image.
Brian’s argument was to defend himself against the DA and Solidarity who have approached the high court in Pretoria to argue that he should repay the part of the R30-million golden handshake already paid to him under the guise of an early retirement.
Brian Molefe announced in November last year he was stepping down to further good governance at Eskom in the light of allegations against him in the former public protector’s State of Capture report.
Deeper into the argument, Molefe’s his advocate Arnold Subel told the court that since late in 2016, Molefe has been considered to have resigned from Eskom under a cloud, then said to have actually retired, then returned to the job, only to be fired from it. But in fact he both retired and resigned at the same time.
“He had resigned. He had resigned on the basis of early retirement,” said Subel. “Factually that is correct. He resigned.”
Because resigning and retiring are not mutually exclusive, Subel said, there may have been a “classic misunderstanding” by the likes of the public and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown that Brian Molefe had not been due a retirement package, but nothing that a court should take notice of.
From his argument, Molefe is now insisting he and the Eskom board were under the mistaken belief that he was entitled to a R30 million early retirement payout and that his “resignation” had therefore been invalid.
Legal counsel for Solidarity, Anton Katz, however, argued in the High Court in Pretoria it would make a mockery of the law and “would do violence to common sense and logic” to accept Molefe’s version.
Paul Kennedy, for the DA, argued that Molefe’s early retirement was clearly unlawful and should be set aside. He also made mention of how Brian Molefe had told the nation he was going but refused to even tell the minister that he was trying behind the scenes to get this vast amount of money he was not entitled to.
Newly appointed army officer Brian Molefe defends his decision to leave Eskom last year. He said he never left the power utility in the first place.