ANC MP Brian Molefe File picture: Independent Media
Johannesburg – The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) on Friday expressed "extreme outrage and disappointment" over the Eskom board's decision to reinstate former chief executive, Brian Molefe, in his position.

This comes after Business Report on Friday broke the news that Molefe, now an ANC Member of Parliament, would be returning to the power utility on Monday after its board decided to rescind his application for early retirement because it could not agree with him “on a mutually beneficial pension proposal”.

Outa chairman Wayne Duvenage said this move by Eskom's board was ludicrous, and that the organisation would possibly be seeking action against this decision. “We are absolutely shocked about this decision. It was clear that Molefe had resigned.

“There was not indication that he was retired. We are going to look at Eskom policy on retirement, whether it is 55 years or what. But Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown is going to have to put her foot down against this,” Duvenage told African News Agency (ANA) over the phone.

“We are going to seek possible action going forward. This decision is going to send a wrong message that you can disregard the Public Protector’s findings. It’s the biggest farce we’ve seen in a long that government can play with taxpayer’s money so easily.”

Molefe stepped down at the end of December last year “in the interest of good corporate governance” after the release of the Public Protector’s report on state capture.

The report had raised questions about his proximity to members of the Gupta family whose company, Tegeta Exploration and Resources, is a supplier of coal to Eskom. 

Last month, Brown objected to Eskom's R30 million pension payout to Molefe. This decision is being seen as the catalyst for Eskom board’s decision to rescind Molefe’s early retirement application.

Eskom board spokesperson, Khulani Qoma, confirmed that Molefe would be returning to head the power utility. “We looked at options, we could not agree on the options. The decision to rescind was the only viable one,” Qoma said.

“When he stepped down the board was not in agreement, it grudgingly accepted that he was stepping down. The State of Capture [report] is actually not a conclusive document and we will have a conversation if it gets concluded at the point when it does, if it does.

“As it stands, we cannot hang him on the basis of the [Public Protector's] report, which is admittedly not conclusive,” he added.

African News Agency