NEWS

Public Protector May Probe Molefe's R30m Golden Handshake, VIP Protection For Dlamini-Zuma

Sanco wants Busisiwe Mkhwebane to assess the former Eskom CEO's "outrageous" pay-out.

18/04/2017 17:52 SAST | Updated 18/04/2017 19:10 SAST
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Brian Molefe, left, shows Jacob Zuma, South Africa's president, around the headquarters of Eskom Holdings.

The Office of the Public Protector is assessing a complaint from the South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) asking it to probe former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe's reported R30m "golden handshake".

Last week Sanco requested that Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane probe whether or not Molefe was entitled to the benefits after he resigned in November 2016 following his implication in the State of Capture report.

The Public Protector's spokesperson, Oupa Segalwe, on Tuesday said the complaint was being assessed for jurisdiction and merit and that it will take up to five working days for Mkhwebane to make a decision.

Segalwe also said the office is yet to receive two requests from the Democratic Alliance, including one about a similar complaint regarding Molefe's exit package.

The DA called Molefe's reported R30m leaving bonus "outrageous", as he had only spent 18 months in the post.

Molefe quit in November 2016 with effect from January 1, days after trying to explain away his alleged connections with the controversial Gupta family, following damning claims in the Public Protector's State of Capture report that he'd visited the Gupta family's mansion in Saxonwold, Johannesburg. There was a shebeen near there, Molefe said at the time, giving rise to endless jibes about a mythical "Saxonwold Shebeen". Molefe started a new career as a Member of Parliament on February 23.

On Tuesday, Mbhele said the party will also submit an application in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) to gain access to Molefe's employment contract at Eskom.

The party disputes Molefe's claim that the pay-out was related to pension benefits.

Dlamini-Zuma VIP protection

The DA's other request involves the VIP protection afforded to former AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, largely tipped to be front-runner to succeed her former husband President Jacob Zuma as African National Congress leader.

DA MP Zakhele Mbhele on Sunday said Police Minister Fikile Mbalula was using spurious "security threats" to justify Dlamini-Zuma's state protection.

"Ms Dlamini-Zuma is a firm contender in the succession race for ANC presidency," he said.

"It cannot be that between now and December she will be provided VIP protection at taxpayers' expense, essentially as preferential treatment in an internal party race."

He said the Public Protector needs to investigate the matter as an "abuse of state resources", as Dlamini-Zuma holds no official position in government.

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