Former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/Independent Media
Johannesburg – The Congress of SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) in the North West said the move to appoint former Eskom boss Brian Molefe as a Member of Parliament (MP) came "as a surprise" as it was never consulted.

"Cosatu has no problem with the former Eskokm CEO Brian Molefe, he has a sterling record as a manager in this country...but the submission of his name to parliament as MP of the ANC from the North West came as a surprise to us because as an alliance partner, we have never been consulted nor have discussed the name in the deployment committee," the organisation said on Monday.

Molefe quit in November, shortly after the release of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report “State of Capture” which detailed extensive contact between him and the politically-connected Gupta family.

His move to Parliament has drawn widespread criticism, with members of his African National Congress (ANC) branch in Madibeng, North West reportedly distancing themselves from the appointment.

The branch leaders said Molefe has never been active at their branch. His nomination as an MP followed weeks of speculation that he would be given a seat on the ANC benches to enable President Jacob Zuma to name him as a Cabinet minister, possibly in the place of Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. Gordhan, who faces calls from the ANC Youth League (ANCYL) and others for him to be fired, is due to table the national budget on Wednesday.

His current term has been marred by political tension, including an aborted attempt last year to charge him fraud. The Democratic Alliance (DA) laid criminal charges against Molefe after the release of Madonsela’s report.