Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe
Pretoria – Opposition parties on Sunday praised Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown for rejecting Eskom’s proposal to pay its former CEO Brian Molefe a R30 million pension payout.

The Democratic Alliance welcomed Brown's rejection of the exorbitant and unjustified R30 million golden handshake pension pay-out to the "disgraced" Molefe, DA spokeswoman Natasha Mazzone said. 

"Indeed, after leaving Eskom under the most swirling clouds of state capture allegations and close collusion with the Guptas [the wealthy, politically connected family] and then being rewarded with an ANC seat as a Member of Parliament, Mr Molefe does not deserve one further rand from the public purse.

"The DA calls upon the Eskom board to revert to minister Brown with a new proposal for Brian Molefe's golden handshake to be R0.00. Saving over R30 million at Eskom would be a boost to the finances of the utility at a much needed time," she said.

Eskom continued to be embroiled in a sequence of very alarming scandals and a full clean up of the entity was needed. The DA hoped that Brown would use the "new backbone she has found to reject Molefe's massive payout" to take action against other wrongdoing at Eskom too.

"She must immediately release the full Denton Report and sack those who are corrupting Eskom. Minister Brown would also do well to take a stand against the nepotism scandal between Eskom acting CEO Matshela Koko, his stepdaughter, and the shocking payment of R1.7 million directly to the ANC as a 'donation'.

"Brian Molefe does not deserve anything further from Eskom and it is high time the minister got management and leadership at the utility in order," Mazzone said.

Congress of the People spokesman Dennis Bloem also applauded Brown for heeding calls to intervene in this "scandalous R30m so-called pension payout from Eskom".

"Cope is very happy that minister Brown had the courage to tell [President] Mr Jacob Zuma, the Guptas, and Molefe that the looting cannot go on for ever; it must stop. It was unthinkable that a person who only worked for 18 months walks away with R30m after resigning.

"Cope believes this is a victory for all the people of the country and we hope that this is the first step towards closing the taps within the Gupta-captured Eskom," Bloem said.

Earlier on Sunday, Brown said she had declined Eskom’s proposal to pay its former CEO a R30 million pension payout and strongly criticised the board for leaving her in the dark about the payout.

“I have considered the Eskom board’s reasoning in formulating the proposed pension payout and cannot support it,” Brown said in a statement.

“I found the argument presented by the board on why the pension arrangement was conceived lacking in legal rationale and it cannot be substantiated as a performance reward because Mr Molefe has already been granted a performance bonus for his contribution to the turnaround of Eskom.

“Nor is the proposed pension payout justifiable in light of the current financial challenges faced not only by state-owned companies (SoCs), but by the country as a whole. I have in the past asked Eskom and the other five SoCs in my portfolio to demonstrate financial prudence and social consciousness when considering executive emoluments,” she said.

“Given that I was not a party to the contract of employment concluded between the Eskom board and Mr Molefe I have instructed the board to urgently engage Mr Molefe and report back to me with an appropriate pension proposal within seven days.

“It is unfortunate that such a sensitive and private matter was handled so recklessly. Finally, I have asked the board to investigate how its proposal got into the public domain prior to my having had the opportunity to consider it,” Brown said.