Johannesburg - Business Leadership South Africa (BLSA) has “unequivocally condemned” the reappointment of Brian Molefe as chief executive of Eskom, calling for the power utility’s board to be sacked.
BLSA chairman Jabu Mabuza said five separate reports, including the Public Protector’s ‘State of Capture’ report, had found prima facie evidence of serious malfeasance at Eskom during Molefe’s tenure there.
Mabuza called on the government to use its powers as Eskom’s shareholder to reverse this decision immediately and to replace the existing board.
“This reappointment makes a mockery of Mr Molefe’s own words about leaving Eskom in the interest of the country and good governance. His reappointment is wilfully disrespectful of the citizens of this country,” Mabuza said.
“Both business and government have been working to convince investors and ratings agencies that we are a country adhering to good governance, especially in respect of state owned enterprises. This decision undermines all our efforts.”
Calls for the axing of the Eskom board were reiterated by the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) which said that new democratically accountable board be appointed with representatives from the Eskom workers and communities.
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said y she had endorsed the Eskom board’s decision to ask Molefe to return to the utility to serve out the remainder of his contract.
Molefe left Eskom under a cloud following the release of the Public Protector’s report into state capture late last year.
The report raised questions about his proximity to members of the Gupta family whose company, Tegeta Exploration and Resources, is a supplier of coal to Eskom. Molefe then resigned “in the interest of good corporate governance”.
Last month, Brown objected to Eskom’s R30 million pension payout to Molefe after he applied for early retirement.
Molefe would be returning at the helm of Eskom on Monday until the end of his contract at the end of September 2020 after resigning as ANC MP.
African News Agency