Former Eskom boss Brian Molefe on Tuesday insisted he did not resign from the utility last year, but in fact had gone on early retirement.
Testifying before the parliamentary inquiry into state capture, he said he had written a letter to then Eskom board chairman on November 11, 2016, asking for early retirement, and had received back from him on November 24 confirming the board accepted this.
Under a barrage of questions from inquiry evidence leader Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara, he repeatedly denied he had resigned his post.
Molefe also said he had not received a R30.1-million pension payout, as had been widely reported.
"I received a lump sum of some R7.7-million from the EPPF [Eskom Pension and Provident Fund] on being admitted to the fund. Of this, some R4.3 million-had been transferred by me from the Transnet Pension Fund to the EPPF."
Molefe resigned from Transnet and joined Eskom in April 2015. He left the power utility at the end of 2016, in the wake of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's "State of Capture" report.
Four months later, members of the Eskom board had met him and "intimated that the acceptance of my early retirement application was a mistake".
He had then asked them to make a proposal on a solution that would meet with Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown's approval.
On May 11 this year, he had received a letter from then Eskom board chairman Ben Ngubane, asking him to resume his duties.
"Because of the common error of implementing the early retirement, the legal position was that the situation had to be restored [to the previously exisiting state of affairs]."
On May 15, he resumed his duties as CEO. However, at the end of that month, Brown had sent a letter to Ngubane instructing the board to rescind the decision to reinstate him.
Molefe said that in an agreement he had struck on his resumption of duties, he had "agreed to pay the [pension] money back by November this year". He had agreed at the time that a mistake had been made.
The pension matter will be heard in the High Court from November 29 to December 1.Suggest a correction