In the face of a shocking reunion, here are a few things we should all remember about Brian Molefe and why he left Eskom in the first place: The current ANC MP who is now most likely to unite with his former unit, has gotten the public reacting.
His return to Eskom follows a decision by the power utility’s board to rescind his application for early retirement, because it could not agree with him “on a mutually beneficial pension proposal.”
1. Former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s “State of Capture” report implicated Molefe, revealing his close relationship with the Gupta family and their company Tegeta Exploration and Resources, a supplier of coal to Eskom. The partnership between the two is under the spotlight over issues of alleged tender malpractice.
2. The report revealed that Molefe called Atul Gupta 44 times and was tracked to the Gupta residence in Saxonwold 19 times, around the time of the controversial deal.
3. Molefe denied a close relationship with the Gupta family and said he was at a shebeen. in the upper-class residential area. His cell phone records placed him near the Gupta mansion. He resigned from Eskom because of “issues of good governance”.
4. Molefe was sworn in as an MP earlier this year, a move which many thought would result in him becoming finance minister during the recent Cabinet reshuffle.
5. Eskom also didn’t shoot out the lights during Molefe’s 18-month tenure as CEO. The utility suspended the sign-off of government-brokered deals to buy renewable power from independent producers. The parastatal also said it would close several old coal-fired plants and terminate agreements with 48 coal-transport companies, an announcement that spurred truck drivers to blockade roads in Pretoria.
6. Last year, the parastatal’s interim results showed increasing costs and a decline in profits for the first half of the year. It was revealed that about R40-billion in under-recovered costs, expected to be decided by the end of 2016, were unlikely to be reflected in tariffs until 2018-2019.
7. Eskom wanted a R30-million pension payout for Molefe, but Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown refused to approve the request. His return to Eskom is the board’s way of reaching a compromise deal.