HomeIndustry SectorsFinance and PolicyLeaked emails shine new angle on former Eskom CEO case

Leaked emails shine new angle on former Eskom CEO case

Former Eskom CEO, Brian Molefe, had already started plotting out his retirement two months after he signed his five-year fixed contract.

This information has emerged following leaked emails, Eye Witness News reported.

According to Eye Witness News: “Daily Maverick’s investigative unit Scorpio has revealed that the Eskom pension and provident fund flouted a number of rules to help Molefe secure his extravagant ‘golden handshake’.”

The former CE had a controversial pension payout of R30 million ($2.2 million), which has since been revoked.

Eskom’s spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said: “In relation to his reinstatement, that matter is being challenged in court and so Eskom will take its directive from the court once this matter has been resolved.”

Molefe resignation

In November last year, Molefe handed in his resignation following the release of the State of Capture report by the former Public Protector, Advocate Thuli Madonsela.

The former CE wrote a letter to the public explaining the reasons for his resignation. In this letter Molefe said: “I will reiterate that this act is not an emission of wrongdoing on my part. It is rather what I feel to be the correct thing to do in the interests of the company and good corporate governance.

“I go now, because it is in the interests of Eskom and the public it serves, that I do so.” Read more…

Daily Maverick investigation

According to the Daily Maverick: “Eskom further defrauded the public when they made a 63-year-old out of the 49-year-old – the evidence will show that Molefe was employed for 15 months at Eskom, but his pension cost was calculated as if he had worked there for 156 months (until the age of 63) and had a 10-year historical service record as an Eskom employee.

“This despite the fact that Eskom appointed Molefe on a five-year fixed contract, equalling 60 months of employment.”

On the point of the former CE being retrenched, this “gave Molefe immediate access to a third of his pension fund, two sources with knowledge of the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund rules pointed out. The two pension fund experts Scorpio consulted said no other retirement or resignation option would have granted Molefe the same immediate access to his money,” the Daily Maverick said.

Molefe not eligible

The Daily Maverick added: “But Eskom’s and its pension fund managers’ biggest conundrum – something they hadn’t realised until Scorpio brought it to their attention – is that Molefe was never eligible to be a member of the Eskom Provident and Pension Fund to start with.

“The severely cash-strapped power utility further paid Molefe a ‘performance bonus’ of R97,537.44 [$7,500] and afforded him an annual raise, backdated from April 2015 – all of this days after Thuli Madonsela published her damning State of Capture report.”

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.