FORMER Eskom CEO Brian Molefe is set to make a spectacular return to once again lead the power utility.
Parliament on Friday announced that Molefe had resigned as a member of the National Assembly just over a month after he was sworn in.
“Parliament wishes to confirm the resignation of Mr Brian Molefe as a Member of Parliament effective from Sunday, 14 May. The Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Baleka Mbete, wishes Mr Molefe well,” spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said.
Eskom Board spokesperson Khulani Qoma confirmed Molefe’s imminent return stating that the decision was taken recently following numerous consultations.
His return was triggered by the refusal of the Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown to accept the board’s decision of a R30 Million pension payout to Molefe.
“From the reports regarding his payout, there was a request from the minister to report back to her after having reviewed the board’s decision on the payout. What since happened is that the board in seeking to meet the request of the minister looked at various options and consulted lawyers. What then happened was that the decision needed
to be rescinded and that legally nullified the pay-out and reinstates him to his job,” said Qoma.
Molefe resigned from the power utility in January after he was fingered by former public protector Thuli Madonsela in her State of Capture report.
In the report, cell phone records placed Molefe in Saxonwold, a suburb of Johannesburg where the politically connected Gupta family resides.
He broke down into tears on national television pleading his innocence.
In the process, he argued that the reason his phone showed he was in the area was because there was a shebeen there which he could have visited.
Molefe tendered his resignation shortly after that and was then taken to Parliament by the African National Congress.
The ruling party was, however, not impressed with his reinstatement at Eskom.
In a statement, the ANC said it “condemned the unfortunate and reckless decision taken by the Board of Directors of Eskom to reinstate Mr. Brian Molefe as Chief Executive Officer of the energy utility”.
The party further stated that Molefe had left Eskom under a cloud following the release of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report late last year.
“The report, while still under review, made observations against Mr. Molefe which, at the time, he had deemed serious and significant enough to warrant his resignation. Amongst others, he cited the interests of the company, good corporate governance and the interest of the public, as underlying his departure from the utility. None of
the observations against Mr. Molefe, so significant at the time, have been conclusively set aside and Mr. Molefe’s own commitment to fully clear his name is still pending,” said ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa.
“The decision, therefore, to reinstate him in his former position without these matters being resolved is tone deaf to the South African public’s absolute exasperation and anger at what seems to be government’s lackluster and lackadaisical approach to dealing decisively with corruption, perceived or real.”
The party said it would seek a meeting with Brown to further discuss the matter.