NEWS

Expert: The Whole Eskom Board Should Resign After The Brian Molefe Saga

His reappointment caused the country yet more reputational damage.

31/05/2017 16:49 SAST | Updated 31/05/2017 16:57 SAST
PHILL MAGAKOE via Getty Images
South African State Enterprises minister Lynne Brown has ordered Eskom to rescind Brian Molefe's appointment as CEO -- finally.

Eskom's board is expected to heed Public Minister Lynne Brown's calls for Brian Molefe's reappointment to be rescinded -- but it remains difficult to predict who the board will recommend to fill Molefe's shoes.

This according to energy expert Chris Yelland, who said the entire board and its chairman, Ben Ngubane, should resign in the interests of good governance.

Brown made the order after an inter-ministerial committee led by Michael Masutha, Malusi Gigaba, Brown and Mmamoloko Kubayi concluded that his appointment should be reversed.

This also follows a decision announced by the ANC NEC on Monday that Molefe should be removed.

Brown said she will appoint an acting CEO within 48 hours and asked the board to submit two recommendations on who that should be.

"We would expect Eskom's board to carry out Brown's decision. But if they had any integrity, the board and its chairman [Ngubane] would resign in the interests of good governance. This whole saga has caused significant reputational damage to Eskom and South Africa," Yelland said.

He said the IMC's conclusion did not surprise him because the ANC NEC called for Molefe's removal beforehand.

At the media briefing, Masutha said recalling Molefe would be in best interests of government, Eskom and the country as whole.

Masutha said the IMC found that Eskom's board made an error by using incorrect provisions of pension payouts when they agreed to Molefe's R30 million payout and their decision was against Eskom's own internal governing policies.

He backed Brown, saying she knew nothing of Molefe's reappointment.

Molefe was reinstated earlier this month after he left the parastatal under a cloud in November last year.

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.

Molefe returned to Eskom on May 15 following a dispute around his pension payout. 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 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.