NEWS

Molefe Says Parly Inquiry Into Eskom Is Not Fair

The former Eskom CEO says he is not being given an opportunity to tell his side of the story.

07/11/2017 06:36 SAST | Updated 07/11/2017 06:36 SAST
Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Brian Molefe.

Former Eskom boss Brian Molefe says the Parliamentary inquiry into Eskom's problems is unfair, as he has not been afforded an opportunity to state his case. In an interview with Business Day, Molefe said he had not been told yet when he will be called as a witness.

But the acting chairperson of the portfolio committee on public enterprises, Zukiswa Rantho, told Business Day that Molefe "and everyone else implicated so far" will be called to testify.

"We are just not sure when... we will call everyone, especially those whose names have been mentioned so far... it might be this year or the beginning of next year," she said.

But Molefe reportedly said: "My concern is that they are going ahead with the inquiry and they have not indicated when they will call me. I haven't even seen the terms of reference. Parliament is going into recess in December... and there are all these things people are saying about me and I haven't been able to respond."

The committee has reportedly been critical of the R30-million "golden handshake" that Molefe was offered, as well as his membership of the Eskom pension fund, which allegedly allowed him to apply for early retirement, when he did not qualify. Molefe has reportedly approached the Labour Court to challenge his dismissal from Eskom.

Molefe told Business Day that there was a "growing trend of not hearing the other side."

He accused the committee of ignoring issues like load shedding.

Molefe told The New Age that he had asked Parliament "hundreds of times" when he would be called.

"I've made hundreds of calls to Parliament to ask when I will be called. I've been watching it every day on TV and my name is being dragged through the mud. They have said they will call me but they have not. There is no sense of urgency to hear me. Perceptions are being painted and these are the dominant perceptions in society," he reportedly said.

Meanwhile, another investigation into Molefe, this time by Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane, might not go ahead. Mkhwebane was asked to probe Molefe's pension payout and allegations that former Eskom CEO gave a contract to his daughter.

Mkhwebane wrote to DA leader, Mmusi Maimane, explaining that she was concerned about Parliament conducting a parallel probe.

According to City Press, she said: "The investigation is ongoing. It has also been noted that Parliament, in particular the portfolio committee on public enterprises, was also investigating the same matter relating to similar issues."