POLITICS

Minister, Eskom Has Lied To Parliament, Says The ANC

The reappointment of Brian Molefe is unleashing a political firestorm of note.

23/05/2017 16:01 SAST | Updated 24/05/2017 06:07 SAST
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Brian Molefe.

The ANC says representations by Eskom and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown in Parliament on Tuesday about the reinstatement of Brian Molefe as Eskom CEO are disingenuous and "amount to perjury".

"According to the incoherent version tabled today, Mr Molefe had never resigned from Eskom, but rather was on unpaid leave. This is in direct contradiction to Mr Molefe's own statement when he left the utility, where he said "I have, in the interests of good corporate governance, decided to leave my employ at Eskom from 1 January 2017. I do so voluntarily..." and Minister Brown's letter dated 30th November 2016 where she approved the appointment of Mr Koko as Acting Group CEO following "the resignation of Mr Brian Molefe". On the strength of the representations from Minister Brown and Mr Molefe, the ANC acceded to his nomination as Member of Parliament.

"Not only are these latest developments disingenuous to say the least, they amount to perjury," the ANC said.

It called on government and Parliament to "act decisively to deal with this irrational and untenable situation".

Brown affidavit

In an affidavit filed on Monday, Brown explained that she had no part in Eskom's decision to reappoint Molefe as chief executive officer at Eskom, and only worked in the best interests of the country.

Brown also highlighted that when Molefe submitted his resignation on November 11, 2016, she viewed it as a resignation. "I was not aware of the fact that Molefe had in fact applied for early retirement and that Eskom had on November 11 2016 accepted such an application," she said.

"I was under the impression that this was a case of unilateral resignation and nothing more."

On Tuesday, former finance minister Pravin Gordhan accused Eskom of state capture while he climbed into Brown and Eskom chairperson Ben Ngubane.

Gordhan confirmed to Fin24 that he is now a permanent member of the portfolio committee on public enterprises, and that this was his maiden appearance.

"You are part of a conspiracy to capture Eskom for the purposes or benefit of the few. That is the reality. Let us not play around with technical questions. That's the reality," Gordhan charged.

Referring to Molefe's reappointment, he said: "This is not just one isolated incident of hiring, firing, retiring, or not retiring or maternity leave or otherwise. This is part of a pattern."

Gordhan said the board is putting on a straight face, believing that whatever is being put out in the public domain will not be challenged. They are doing so with "extreme arrogance", regardless of the fact that they serve a public institution. -- News24Wire