25/01/2018 14:26 SAST | Updated 25/01/2018 14:47 SAST

Court Orders Brian Molefe To Pay Back All Pension Payouts

The ruling comes after trade union Solidarity approached the high court to declare Molefe's controversial award of more than R30-million unlawful.

Brian Molefe
Bloomberg via Getty Images
Brian Molefe

The High Court in Pretoria on Thursday ordered Brian Molefe to pay back all the pension payouts made to him. A full bench of judges found against Molefe and set aside the pension agreement.

Enca reporter Karyn Maughan reported through a tweet that the court had described the state capture allegations against Molefe as "dead weight he must carry until he is cleared".

The former Eskom CEO was also ordered to pay costs.

The ruling comes after trade union Solidarity approached the high court to declare Molefe's controversial pension award of about R30-million, as well as more than R10-million already paid out to him, unlawful.

According to Anton van der Bijl, head of Solidarity's Centre for Fair Labour Practices, Solidarity sought an order in the interests of justice that obliged Molefe to pay back all pension payouts and benefits granted to him.

Molefe briefly returned as CEO of Eskom on May 15 last year, after the scandal around his pension emerged, but he was removed again two weeks later when public enterprises minister Lynne Brown ordered the board to reverse his reinstatement. Molefe later challenged this decision, when he filed Labour Court papers against the board and Brown.

Political parties and Solidarity then filed a consolidated court application to challenge Eskom's decision to reappoint Molefe as CEO, as well as the approval of his R30-million pension payout.

Brown filed explanatory affidavits last year, but did not challenge the relief sought by the applicants.

In her affidavit, Brown said that a letter from former Eskom chairperson Ben Ngubane regarding Molefe's retirement package never reached her.

Molefe and other Eskom executives were grilled in Parliament, at the inquiry into state capture at Eskom, about Molefe's pension bonanza.

When Eskom announced its annual results last year, it stated in the notes on its financial statements that the R30-million Molefe received as an early retirement benefit would only be refunded to the company pursuant to a court order.