Minister Brown to abide by court decision on Molefe’s reappointment

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Cape Town – Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown says she will abide by the court’s decision on the reappointment of Brian Molefe as the Group Chief Executive of Eskom. 

The Minister said this when she briefed the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises at the Townhouse Hotel, in Cape Town, on Tuesday. 

The briefing was aimed at having the Minister and the Eskom Board explain to Members of Parliament (MPs) on the process that led to Molefe’s reappointment following a court bid by opposition parties to have his return to the power utility set aside. 

Briefing MPs, the Minister shed light on the legal action following the reappointment of Molefe. 

“Let me start by reporting that I have submitted my affidavit to court with regard to the Brian Molefe matter. I have instructed my legal team to withdraw my opposition to Part A of the relief sought – that I set aside my appointment of Mr Molefe. 

“I have, nonetheless, deposed an affidavit, as I believe the information I have will assist the court in determining its decision. 

“My initial advice was to oppose Part A on the basis that I neither appointed nor reinstated Mr Molefe, as well as on the basis of advice from Eskom’s Board that it had obtained an opinion from a Senior Council advocate on its handling of the matter. 

“But having had the opportunity to properly appraise the issues, I have decided that I will abide by the court’s decision on the legality of Mr Molefe’s return to Eskom,” she said. 

Minister was not aware Molefe had not resigned 

Molefe left Eskom in November last year and was later sworn in as Member of Parliament. 

On Tuesday, Minister Brown said when Molefe left Eskom last year, she was under the impression that he had resigned. 

“I was not aware that he had applied for early retirement. This I only learned in April 2017, after reading in the media that Mr Molefe was receiving a R30 million pay-out from Eskom, and asking Eskom’s Board to make a more prudent deal,” she said. 

The Minister subsequently blocked the R30 million pay-out to Molefe and asked the Eskom Board to revert with a way forward. 

“Again, on Eskom’s legal argument that Mr Molefe was appointed under the terms of the 2014 Memorandum of Incorporation, the early retirement agreement didn't have to be shown to me. 

“On 11 May 2017, after taking advice from a Senior Council, the Eskom Board reverted to me with options on the proposed R30 million pay-out to Mr Molefe. 

“As a courtesy, the Board indicated to me its preference was for the consensual rescission of Mr Molefe’s early retirement, and that it was willing to accept Mr Molefe back as Group Chief Executive,” she said. 

The Minister said she told the Eskom Board that she would only support their decision to offer Molefe his old job, provided it was legal. 

“As I told the media, I believed that Eskom would obtain more value from having Mr Molefe at work than simply paying out R30 million.” – SAnews.gov.za

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