File image: Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. IOL.
JOHANNESBURG - Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown stated she understood that former Eskom ECO Brian Molefe resigned from Eskom and did not seek early retirement. 

“On 11 November 2016 I issued a statement noting that I was saddened by Mr Molefe’s resignation but respected his decision.  This followed a meeting Mr Molefe requested with me to explain his decision to step down. During the meeting and based on what Mr Molefe described as the basis of his departure, I expressly referred to his proposed departure as a “resignation”.  Mr Molefe did not correct or challenge this terminology,” she said. 

Brown told the committee that, on March 8 2017, she sent a letter to Eskom requesting a resolution recording Molefe’s resignation and the formal appointment of Matshela Koko as acting CEO. 

“The Department was duly furnished with Mr Koko’s appointment letter but no resolution on Molefe’s resignation or retirement,” she said. 

The minister said that her view that Molefe had resigned persisted until 16 April 2017- some five months after he left Eskom -  when she “read in a newspaper that he was to receive a R30m pension payout.”

“I was surprised to discover that the Board had concluded an agreement with Molefe for an early retirement, but did not consider it to be irregular at that point,' she said. “Subsequent events have persuaded me that the ‘early retirement agreement’ was not only irregular but possibly an ex post facto fabrication,” she said.