Outa : Molefe’s Reinstatement Defile’s Public Protector’s Findings

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The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) reacts to the shocking announcement of Brian Molefe’s reinstatement at Eskom, saying its defiles the office of the Public Protector.

In a statement released on Friday, the organisation expressed its anger and disappointment towards the return of the former Eskom chief executive.

News broke out on Friday morning about Molefe’s return to the power utility following board’s decision to rescind his application for early retirement because it could not agree with him “on a mutually beneficial pension proposal”.

Molefe, who officially stepped down as the Eskom chief executive in January this year, would by Monday, resume his work at the power utility again.

Reacting to this, Outa chairman Wayne Duvenage said this move by Eskom’s board was absurd and that the organisation would possibly be seeking action against this decision. “We are absolutely shocked about this decision. It was clear that Molefe had resigned.

“There was not an indication that he was retired. We are going to look at Eskom policy on retirement, whether it is 55 years or what. But Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown is going to have to put her foot down against this,” Duvenage told African News Agency (ANA) over the phone.

“We are going to seek possible action going forward. This decision is going to send a wrong message that you can disregard the Public Protector’s findings. It’s the biggest farce we’ve seen in a long that government can play with taxpayer’s money so easily.”

Months after Molefe resigned as Eskom CEO, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) took him in as a member of the parliament.

Prior to that, he was rumoured to become the new finance minister in Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle but after many controversies – about the morality behind his proposed appointment after he’s already been implicated Thuli’s state capture report- Zuma decided to appoint Malusi Gigaba instead.

Thuli’s report had raised questions about his proximity to members of the Gupta family whose company, Tegeta Exploration and Resources, is a supplier of coal to Eskom.

Last month, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown objected to Eskom’s R30 million pension payout to Molefe.  The minister’s decision is seen as the catalyst for Eskom board’s decision to rescind Molefe’s early retirement application.

Eskom board spokesperson, Khulani Qoma who confirmed Molefe’s return, said the board members looked at options but were unable to agree on other better options. “The decision to rescind was the only viable one,” Qoma said.

“When he stepped down the board was not in agreement, it grudgingly accepted that he was stepping down. The State Capture [report] is actually not a conclusive document and we will have a conversation if it gets concluded at the point when it does if it does.

“As it stands, we cannot hang him on the basis of the [Public Protector’s] report, which is admittedly not conclusive,” he added.

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