NEWS
30/11/2017 07:43 SAST | Updated 30/11/2017 07:43 SAST

Furore Over Molefe's Retirement 'A Misunderstanding'

Molefe's lawyer says he resigned "on the basis of early retirement".

Brian Molefe.
Waldo Swiegers/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Brian Molefe.

The furore over former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe's "resignation" comes down to a misunderstanding, his lawyer argued on Tuesday, according to the Mail & Guardian.

Solidarity, the DA and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown want Molefe's reinstatement and the decision to give him a R30-million bonus to be declared unlawful and set aside.

They argue that his return to Eskom was not a reinstatement, as Molefe argued, but was a continuation of his contract.

Molefe resigned from Eskom, then said he'd actually taken early retirement, and returned to work, but was later fired.

His lawyer, advocate Arnold Subel, SC, told the court: "He had resigned. He had resigned on the basis of early retirement. Factually that is correct. He resigned."

He added that the whole thing was a misunderstanding.

According to The Times, Advocate Anton Katz, SC, for Solidarity, argued that Molefe resigned but realised he made a mistake and returned.

"He makes a mockery of our laws... he realised his mistake, that he is not getting the R30-million [early retirement package]," he reportedly said.

Subel reportedly argued that the case against his client was "high on emotions, but low on facts". He said that Molefe never resigned, but took an early-retirement package, so he was never reinstated, but there was a continuation of his contract.

Lawyers for the DA and Brown argued that Molefe had used the words "resigned" when he left Eskom.

Molefe initially said he was stepping down in the interests of good governance after being implicated in former public protector Thuli Madonsela's "State of Capture" report.

But Subel said that Molefe did not use the word 'resign', but that it was used by Brown, according to Fin24.

He reportedly said that Molefe resigned "in a broad sense", but that he actually meant early retirement.

But Paul Kennedy, SC, for the DA, said that when Molefe announced that he was leaving Eskom, "not a word was made of him taking early retirement".

"If it looks like duck, quacks like duck, it's probably a duck... We submit that it was a resignation and terminated the employment relationship," Kennedy argued.