JOHANNESBURG – Former Eskom boss Brian Molefe will have to pay back the utility R10 million of a R30m golden handshake he received when he resigned from the embattled power utility after his last-ditch attempt to keep the money was dealt a fatal blow by the Constitutional Court.
Molefe will have to comply with the Constitutional Court order, as he has no other avenues to appeal the matter as the court is the apex court in the land.
Trade union Solidarity, which opposed Molefe’s numerous appeals, yesterday said it would immediately institute action to collect the cost order and to ensure the R10m Molefe received from the Eskom Pension Fund was paid back without delay.
Solidarity chief operating officer Dirk Hermann said Molefe had tried to use litigation to shirk his responsibilities.
“We are delighted with the ruling. One can only hide in the courts up to a certain point, but the law always prevails. It is sad that the courts have to take over the role of a person’s conscience. Solidarity knows its way about the courts and Brian Molefe underestimated us. We will not let injustice happen,” Hermann said.
Molefe has also been ordered to pay the lions share of Solidarity’s legal fees.
Hermann insisted that the Constitutional Court’s ruling opened the door for the union to pursue criminal proceedings against Molefe.
“As Solidarity is getting no response from the National Prosecuting Authority, we have already initiated discussions with Advocate Gerrie Nel about possible private prosecution.”
Molefe could not be reached for comment on the Constitutional Court ruling.
Molefe resigned from Eskom in November 2016 after a damming report by erstwhile public protector Thuli Madonsela found that Molefe had a cosy relationship with the Gupta family, a family that is alleged to be at the centre of plundering Eskom and Transnet’s resources.
Madonsela in her report said Molefe and Ajay Gupta, the eldest of the Gupta brothers, had made 58 telephone calls to one another between August 2015 and March 2016.
Wayne Duvenage, the chief executive of the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse, said he was happy with the Constitutional Court judgment.
“We always maintained that he (Molefe) did not qualify for such an exuberant amount in the short time he spent as Eskom’s employee. He was inside the state capture vehicle both at Eskom and Transnet and should now be held accountable for being a key state capture enabler,” Duvenage said.
Transnet chairperson Popo Molefe in May told the state capture commission that the rail, port and pipeline company wanted (Brian) Molefe to pay it back R79m for payments made to Gupta-linked Regiments for work not done.