POLITICS

The Amazing Trajectory Of Brian Molefe's Career

A breakdown of Molefe's career at Eskom.

24/05/2017 10:19 SAST | Updated 24/05/2017 10:38 SAST

Did Brian Molefe resign from Eskom as CEO or was he retrenched? And what happened with unpaid leave?

While everyone, including Molefe and Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown, is seemingly unclear on Molefe's hasty in-and-outs from the parastatal, one thing that cannot be argued is that Molefe has had quite the career.

  • In his early days, Molefe served as an ANC administrator in 1991. Between 1994 and 1995, he took on the role of an Institutional Specialist at the Development Bank in South Africa. He then made his way back into government for two years as the Chief Director of Strategic Planning in the Office of the Limpopo Premier.
  • In 1997, he got into National Treasury and he occupied top notch positions there for six years. In 2003, he went onto head the Public Investment Corporation as CEO, a tenure which lasted 7 years.
  • Between 2011 and 2015, Molefe took the helm at the embattled parastatal, Transnet. Economists and commentators hailed his performance, saying he played a key leadership role in turning things around there.
  • He was then moved over to Eskom in April 2015 as the acting CEO. He was made permanent in September that year.

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-- Brown on the appointment of Molefe as acting Eskom CEO

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-- Brown on the permanent appointment of Molefe at Eskom

A year into his tenure at Eskom, after the parastatal's interim results showed increasing costs and a decline in profits for the first half of 2016, Molefe was implicated in former public protector Thuli Madonsela's State Capture report. It revealed his close relationship with the Gupta family and their company Tegeta Exploration and Resources, which is a supplier of coal to Eskom.


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-- Extracts from the State of Capture report implicating Molefe

  • After the release of the report, Molefe was reduced to tears during a briefing on the parastatal's financial results. In tears, he said Madonsela did not give him a chance to respond. A week later, on November 11, he resigned citing the interests of good governance.

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-- Brown says Koko's appointment comes after Molefe's resignation


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-- Extract from Molefe's statement on the day he left Eskom

  • On Febraury 23 this year, Molefe was sworn into Parliament as an MP. Many thought this would result in him becoming finance minister during a following Cabinet reshuffle.
  • Molefe returned to Eskom on May 15 following a dispute around his pension payout. Questions were raised about a R30 million golden handshake upon his resignation. This caused a nationwide outcry, with the ANC even calling for the recall of Brown's decision to have Molefe reappointed. When news broke of his return to Eskom, the parastatal's board spokesman Khulani Qoma reportedly told media that Molefe did not resign last year; he took an early retirement.
  • Days after Molefe's return, the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF) said that its decision to grant Eskom CEO Brian Molefe a R30 million pension payout was because he was retrenched.
  • On May 22, the Mail and Guardian reported that Molefe and Brown have both filed affidavits claiming Molefe was on unpaid leave while he was a Member of Parliament. They referenced affidavits that were filed by Molefe and Brown in the High Court in Pretoria in response to the Democratic Alliance's application to have Molefe removed as head of the power utility.
  • Brown was grilled by Parliament on the Molefe debacle on Tuesday.