Eskom on Thursday announced it would not oppose Brian Molefe’s legal challenge over his "unfair" and "invalid" dismissal as group chief executive at Eskom.
Molefe earlier this month announced he was taking his former employer and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown to court after the board was ordered to rescind his reappointment.
Molefe launched an urgent application in the Labour Court and in the application, which lists Eskom and Brown as respondents, Molefe says his dismissal was unlawful and should thus be treated as invalid.
In court documents shared by an eNCA reporter, the board clarified its position on the matter, saying it did not want to be embroiled in a spate over whether Molefe’s return was legally valid but would rather leave this to the minister.
“The board held the view that it would not be in Eskom’s best interests to be embroiled in a dispute regarding the position of GCE, as that would only serve to distract Eskom from fulfilling its management and significant daily operational functions.
“The board thought it necessary, instead to direct its mind, resources and energy towards the efficient operation of Eskom.”
The board also clarified Molefe’s controversial pension payout, adding that the payout was based on a “common mistake” that Molefe was eligible for early retirement at the age of 50.
The pension fund rules, however, only permitted early retirement at the age of 55.
“Accordingly, the early retirement agreement fell to be set aside and the performance by both parties had to be restored,” the board said.
“Quite simply, Eskom was entitled to a refund of the money that it paid to fund for the benefit of Molefe and Molefe was entitled to be restored to his position as GCE.”