The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
As we were, it seems with the running of arguably the country’s most controversial State entity, Eskom. One view of the 7-month departed Eskom CEO and 3 month-newbie-MP, Brian Molefe is this; only in South Africa could a State utility CEO be rewarded for doing the honourable thing (resigning) – by being re-instated. It’s entirely plausible that the hand of puppet master Msholozi, was absent and that Eskom’s version is credible. The reasons given – Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown ordering the Eskom board to renegotiate the whopping R30 million pension pay-out Molefe was due and his reinstatement being a quick and easy legal fix – seem plausible. Not having actually resigned but taking early retirement was a smart move. Taking back his job could show two things; arrogance or public spiritedness, or perhaps a mixture of both. Most folk agree, he’s a good businessman and was well respected at Eskom. But he lives with a lie (that he was visiting a shebeen at Saxonwold) and an unbreakable tie (proven numerous calls to the Gupta residence in Saxonwold, which he strenuously denied). One foot wrong and his redemption song will remain forever unsung. Oh, and his resignation as an MP, becomes effective this Sunday. – Chris Bateman
By Matthew le Cordeur
Cape Town – Brian Molefe has agreed to return to Eskom as its chief executive on Monday, after the board rescinded his application for early retirement, Eskom board spokesperson Khulani Qoma confirmed on Friday.
Molefe quit following the Public Protector’s report, State of Capture, in November 2016 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.
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.”
Qoma confirmed that the board met to find a solution and decided to rescind his application.
He revealed that Molefe never resigned, but asked for early retirement in November.
“He didn’t resign,” he told Fin24 on Friday. “He applied for early retirement. When he left, it was on the basis of early retirement that was approved by the board.
The sheer chutzpah of Brian Molefe returning to Eskom. An illustration of the utter disregard for the Public protector and the people.
— Mandy Wiener (@MandyWiener) May 12, 2017
“The rescinding of this retirement package triggers his reinstatement by law,” he said. “The board had to then negotiate with him (Molefe) and he agreed to come back and welcomes coming back to finish the job that he started.”
He said he will get his old employment contract back with the same financial package.
Matshela Koko will return to his previous position of group executive for generation.
When he announced his resignation in November 2016, Molefe said he “decided to leave … voluntarily”.
“I wish to reiterate that this act is not an admission of wrongdoing on my part,” he said. “It is rather what I feel to be the correct thing to do in the interests of the company and good corporate governance.”
“I go now, because it is in the interests of Eskom and the public it serves, that I do so.”
— Jacques Maree (@JacquesMaree73) May 12, 2017
Economist Iraj Abedian said at the time that it was important that Molefe resigned, as he brought the whole organisation into disrepute.
“He could no longer have the respect and trust of his staff. Bone fide clients of Eskom could not trust the entity either.”
There was speculation that Molefe was brought into parliament so that President Jacob Zuma could appoint him minister of Finance when he removed Pravin Gordhan, and there were reports that Zuma was blocked from doing so; which resulted in Malusi Gigaba and Sfiso Buthelezi getting the new roles of minister and deputy minister respectively. – Fin24
Save SA statement:
Molefe’s return to Eskom is outrageous – and it must be stopped
The Save South Africa campaign is outraged at reports that Gupta Facilitator Brian Molefe is being re-appointed as CEO of Eskom – and we are determined to do all in our power to stop it.
This is a classic Zuma-Gupta move.
President Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family have had their way long enough, with Molefe at the centre of a number of their shenanigans – first at Transnet, and then at Eskom.
It’s clear that their failed attempt to get Molefe appointed as Finance Minister has forced a change of strategy. It also confirms that his “deployment” as a member of parliament was never about fulfilling the vital constitutional duties of an MP – it was a cynical stepping stone to the advancement of state capture.
The next stage is seemingly to get him back in Eskom where, with the protection of the SOC’s equally questionable chairman, Ben Ngubane, he will go back to overseeing multi-billion dodgy deals, including the nuclear energy deal.
We need to remind South Africans that:
- Molefe is directly implicated in the Public Protector’s report “State of Capture” as being at the heart of a number of corrupt deals involving the Guptas and the Zumas.
- Molefe’s stated reason for leaving Eskom in November last year was to “clear his name”. He has consistently failed to do so, whether as outgoing CEO or as an incoming member of parliament. He must subject himself to a full investigation, as must his cohorts inside and outside Eskom.
- Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has publicly supported the need for a commission of inquiry into the Public Protector’s report “State of Capture”, as has Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa.
- Molefe resigned from Eskom, he did not go on pension. He was never entitled to his R30-m payout in the first place, and to suggest that he should return to Eskom because his golden handshake was blocked is an insult to the nation’s intelligence.
- Repeat our demand that a commission of inquiry is instituted to probe the Public Protector’s report, so that action can be taken against those – including Molefe and Ngubane – who are named as being captured.
- Repeat our demand for a full investigation into all State Owned Companies (SOCs), as contained in our “Minimum Demands for a Socially Just South Africa”, to stop the theft of public money.
- Urge Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown to immediately act to stop this chain of looting and pillaging, lest she be seen to be part of the network of patronage and corruption.
The Save South Africa campaign’s position is clear: Brian Molefe cannot be allowed back into Eskom. And the people who put them there must be stopped in their tracks. Zuma must go!
We will be doing all in our power to stop this blatant manipulation of governance processes, and call on other concerned South Africans to do the same. We will be briefing our legal advisors today on steps that can be taken to keep Molefe out of Eskom, and will work with others to mobilise protests to show the nation’s outrage.
Ultimately, the solution is to rid South Africa of Jacob Zuma once and for all. That is the best way to stop the rot, and to Save South Africa.