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Lucky Montana: Cabinet was wrong by removing Molefe and Koko from Eskom

In an opinion piece sent out on Thursday and titled: “Failure of Policy: The Case of Eskom”, Montana said the problems of Eskom are unfortunately not technical in nature, but primarily a failure of policy on the part of the ANC government. Picture: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures

In an opinion piece sent out on Thursday and titled: “Failure of Policy: The Case of Eskom”, Montana said the problems of Eskom are unfortunately not technical in nature, but primarily a failure of policy on the part of the ANC government. Picture: David Ritchie/ANA Pictures

Published May 5, 2022

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Durban – The former chief executive of Prasa Lucky Montana claims that the ANC government made a fatal error when it removed Brian Molefe, Matshela Koko and the late Dr Ben Ngubane from Eskom.

In an opinion piece sent out on Thursday and titled: “Failure of Policy: The Case of Eskom”, Montana said the problems of Eskom are unfortunately not technical in nature, but primarily a failure of policy on the part of the ANC government.

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It also speaks about the findings of the Zondo Commission on the alleged capture of Eskom.

According to Montana, Zondo’s findings were wrong.

“Cabinet followed its wrong policy choices by removing the team led by the late Dr Ben Ngubane (may his soul rest in eternal peace), Brian Molefe, Matshela Koko and others under the pretext of ‘fighting State Capture’.

“In their place, Cabinet appointed a board led by the late Jabu Mabuza (may his soul rest in eternal Peace) and an executive management team that seemed to lack operational experience, understanding the ‘science and art’ of maintenance, and how to sustain the ageing operating assets of Eskom,” Montana wrote.

Montana, who was also called to testify before the Zondo Commission because he was fingered by some witnesses, said that the team that took over Eskom in February 2018 shortly after former President Jacob Zuma was ousted, has failed to deliver.

“There was excitement when Professor Malekgapuru Makgoba was appointed chairman of the Eskom board. This is someone who is well-respected, a great leader, but with deep technical knowledge and a proven track record as a scientist. The appointment of Andre De Ruyter as Group CEO proved to be a big disaster for the country. This is not because he is not an engineer, as suggested by some.

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“The business of Eskom requires core skills in engineering/asset management, maintenance, planning, finance and sales, among others. Andre De Ruyter was appointed to play a leadership role at Eskom. He comes across, though, as someone who does not comprehend the real business of Eskom and fails to set the right goals for his executive team to address the big challenges facing Eskom. He is clearly not a taskmaster,” he said.

Meanwhile, Eskom has announced that it has committed to collaborating with the NPA (National Prosecuting Authority) on state capture cases and other organised crimes against the power company.

In a joint statement on Thursday, the two entities said holding to account those most responsible is a priority for them, considering the devastating impact these crimes are having on SA’s development and economic prospects.

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“The NPA and Eskom agreed to enhance existing collaboration, to ensure the most effective coordinated responses to serious crimes, including those stemming from the State Capture Commission of Inquiry. This includes increasing the sharing of information and high-level and operational coordination while protecting the NPA’s independence and mandate.

“Where possible, the NPA and its Investigating Directorate (ID) will engage appropriately with Eskom investigators and legal experts to support its efforts to ensure accountability for alleged perpetrators, especially in complex and seminal cases,” the joint statement said.

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