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Molefe's days at Eskom numbered

Politics
Johannesburg - Brian Molefe’s time at the helm of power utility Eskom could be over soon, if Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown listens to the ANC this time around.

The party’s national executive committee instructed Brown to reverse his reappointment to the powerful post.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said on Monday that Brown had to rescind the Molefe decision before the matter went to the courts.

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The ANC wants reinstated Eskom CEO Brian Molefe axed. File picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/Independent Media

Mantashe warned that the government encouraged judicial overreach when it failed to lead properly.

The DA and the EFF wanted the Eskom board’s decision to reappoint Molefe set aside by the courts on the grounds that it was unlawful and irrational.

The case was expected to be heard in the high court in Joburg next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Last week, Brown told Parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises that she would abide by the court’s decision on the legality of Molefe’s controversial return to Eskom.

Molefe left the power utility under a cloud late last year following the release of the former public protector’s State of Capture report, which linked him to President Jacob Zuma’s personal friends, the Guptas.

Molefe was spirited into Parliament after resigning from Eskom as part of an alleged plan to make him finance minister.

At the time, he said he was resigning “in the interests of good corporate governance” following former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s damning report in which he was accused of favouring the Gupta family when awarding contracts.

Last week, Brown and Eskom board chairperson Ben Ngubane were grilled in Parliament over the utility’s stance on the Molefe matter, moving from saying he resigned, was given a retirement package of R30million to unpaid leave.

So angry was the ANC that it accused Brown of perjury. Brown’s spokesperson Colin Cruywagen yesterday could only say: “The minister is in ongoing discussions with the inter-ministerial committee on Eskom on the matter.”

Zuma last week created a committee of ministers - which include Brown - to probe the Molefe issue.

The ANC study group on public enterprises also lashed out at Brown, saying the various explanations on Molefe raised suspicions that there could have been fraud when he was made an MP.

Meanwhile, the ANC had also noted the “promising work being done to stabilise the SABC”.

The SABC interim board, chaired by businesswoman Khanyisile Kweyama, was commended for suspending SABC acting chief executive James Aguma following calls by Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts that he should be removed for his role in the financial woes of the public broadcaster.

Aguma reportedly told MPs the unilateral implementation of the local content policy by suspended chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng cost the SABC advertising revenue of R29m (radio) and R183m (TV).

The Star

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