Brian Molefe File photo: Independent Media
Johannesburg - The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) on Monday decried Brian Molefe's labour court action to challenge his removal as Eskom CEO as an attempt to hold the power utility to ransom. 

Molefe, who was fired as Eskom CEO last week, on Sunday indicated his intention to take his former employer and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown to court over his dismissal. 

Molefe is set to launch his urgent application in the Labour Court on Monday. 

Sanco spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu said: "Molefe's sense of entitlement is seemingly encouraged by the Eskom board which should be dissolved for putting personal interests above good corporate governance and national interest." 

Mahlangu said that Molefe was proving to be a destabiliser of public institutions. "His conduct is raising questions as to whether he is wielding the power of blackmail or whether those implicated in Public Protector's state of capture report want him at back at Eskom at all costs as their point man to oversee how the power utility is going to respond to investigations that are going to unfold?," Mahlangu questioned. 

He said that the civic organisation was concerned that the Molefe saga was overshadowing delivery on Eskom's mandate, including its role as a critical and strategic contributor to government's goal of security of electricity supply, as well as the country's economic growth and prosperity. 

"Eskom does not exist for Molefe, its board chairperson Ben Ngubane, or to facilitate looting of state resources through its coal supply, procurement processes and tenders," Mahlangu added. 

Molefe is set to challenge his dismissal which he is arguing was unlawful and should thus be treated as invalid. Brown, as the Eskom shareholder representative, carried out an instruction from the governing African National Congress (ANC) to rescind Molefe's reappointment as Eskom CEO. 

The power utility's board subsequently fired Molefe on Friday. Molefe left Eskom under a cloud in November last year after he was implicated in former public protector Thuli Madonsela's report on state capture. 

He then joined the ANC caucus in Parliament as an MP. He was reappointed to his old post last month, for the stated reason that he had "mistakenly" been granted early retirement which would entitle him to a pension payout of R30 million, which was vetoed by Brown.  

Brown told a parliamentary committee that she had for months believed that Molefe had resigned last year, but had learned in April that he had in fact asked for early retirement.  

Molefe, who featured extensively in Madonsela's report, has denied any links to the wealthy, politically-connected Gupta family. 

The family enjoys close ties to President Jacob Zuma and has been accused of wielding much power over the running of the state and its parastatals such as Eskom. 

African News Agency