Despite his earlier claims that he only "retired" from Eskom after Thuli Madonsela's State of Capture report was released, new evidence shows that former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe started planning his retirement three months earlier, Daily Maverick reported on Monday.
Daily Maverick also reported that while Molefe was only employed by Eskom for 15 months, his pension cost was calculated as if he had been employed there for 156 months with a 10 year historical record as an Eskom employee. He also did not qualify for early retirement, as the earliest possible age for this was 55 and he was only 50 years old.
Because he was "retrenched" by Eskom, this gave him access to a third of his pension fund, according to two pension fund experts interviewed by Daily Maverick.
In an interview with Daily Maverick's investigative unit Scorpio, Molefe said he had made a "mistake" thinking he could only take early retirement at 50, and that Eskom and its provident fund had also made a mistake.
The two pension fund experts reportedly said documents seen by Scorpio raised "serious red flags" about Molefe's pension payout.
In November, after Madonsela's report was released, Molefe said he was resigning because "it's the right thing to do". But three months earlier, he had asked senior Eskom officials to calculate his pension package as of December 31 2016, Scorpio reported.
Two days after Madonsela's report was released, Molefe was also given an annual increase from Eskom and a performance bonus.
It was later said that Molefe was retrenched, but the experts interviewed by Scorpio pointed out that it was impossible to retrench a CEO unless the company was wound up.
Former Eskom board chairperson Ben Ngubane told Scorpio:
"Molefe was concerned about the amount his pension fund would pay out after leaving Eskom. I remember having discussions where he was concerned about having been moved around during his career to fix ailing institutions that didn't allow him to accrue a big pension."