23/05/2017 12:41 SAST | Updated 23/05/2017 12:53 SAST

Lynne Brown: I Neither Appointed Nor Reappointed Brian Molefe As Eskom CEO

The public enterprises minister says she was under the impression that he had resigned when he left in 2016. 

Host Photo Agency / RIA Novosti

Public Enterprise Minister Lynne Brown explained to the portfolio committee on the ministry that she had neither appointed nor reappointed Brian Molefe as chief executive of Eskom.

Affidavits filed by Molefe and Brown on Monday stated Molefe never resigned from Eskom and was instead on unpaid leave.

But Molefe's post was advertised, and he was sworn in as a Member of Parliament and ANC MP following his leave from Eskom. Molefe's resignation letter in November 2016 had also been made public.

Brown said she did not know that Molefe had taken early retirement and that she did not anticipate the backlash against Molefe. She says that she was under the impression that he had resigned when he left in 2016.

Brown said she would abide by the court's decision on the legality of Molefe's reappointment. She also warned MPs about being criminalised "by association".

Brown's briefing to the portfolio committee follows after it had asked her to appear in Parliament after Molefe returned to Eskom last week, following his leave from Eskom after damning allegations were published against him in the public protector's State of Capture report.

Molefe is accused of having close ties to the infamous Gupta family in the report.

Last Wednesday, the committee called Brown and the board before Parliament on Friday. The meeting was cancelled shortly thereafter due to the grounds that the matter was "sub judice" in light of court action taken by the Democratic Alliance for an interdict against Molefe taking up the post and for the setting aside of his reappointment.