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Molefe reappointment: Cope, DA protest outside Eskom HQ

Newsdeck

Newsdeck

Molefe reappointment: Cope, DA protest outside Eskom HQ

By News24
15 May 2017 0

Johannesburg - A group of Cope and Democratic Alliance supporters braved a cold Monday morning to protest outside Eskom's Megawatt Park in Midrand, Johannesburg, saying they did not want Brian Molefe to be reappointed as CEO of the parastatal.

Molefe was reappointed as CEO by the Eskom board last Friday after a dispute over a R30m pension pay-out, and an extra R7m for early retirement.

DA public enterprises spokesperson Natasha Mazzone said it was a symbolic protest, and that Molefe was not fit and proper to hold the position. She said he should stick to his initial decision to step down in the interests of good corporate governance.

“We are here to let Brian Molefe know that we are not happy that he has been reappointed CEO of Eskom. We think that his overnight resignation as an MP, and the reappointment of him as CEO, is unacceptable. We thought that his appointment as an MP was unacceptable at the time too,” said Mazzone.

Public Enterprises Minster Lynne Brown had initially objected to the Eskom board’s proposed R30m pension pay-out for Molefe.

But on Friday, she endorsed Molefe’s return, saying it was a better for the fiscus to let him go back to the job from which he had resigned in November 2016.

“In terms of the Eskom board’s proposal, Mr Molefe agreed to serve out the remainder of his original contract and to reconsider his contract I objected to,” Brown said.

”The board’s proposal I believe is a better value proposition for the SA fiscus than the previous proposal.”

Molefe resigned after being linked with the infamous Gupta family in former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report.

‘Immoral and illegal’

Mazzone confirmed that DA attorneys were lodging an urgent interdict in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria to have Molefe’s appointment set aside with immediate effect.

“We want the court to hear this matter as soon as possible. We don’t want Brian Molefe back at the helm of CEO. Eskom put out adverts for the position of CEO. They did interview people, and people were shortlisted, so the whole process has just been null and void, and this isn’t good governance.”

Eskom board spokesperson Khulani Qoma has previously denied this, saying that there had been no interviews of potential candidates yet.

A handful of men dressed in camouflage gear, with vests on labelled “Task Team”, stood outside the state-owned entity (SOE). There was also a visible police presence, which Mazzone said was an indication that Molefe knew that South Africans were unhappy.

Cope and DA protesters said more people were expected to arrive later, saying most of their members were stuck in traffic due to electricity outages.

Cope councillor Devanand Maharaj said he had been outside the national key point since 06:30 on Monday morning. He said he was uncertain if Molefe was already inside the building.

The African National Congress has also expressed its disappointment and concern over the Eskom board’s decision to reinstate Molefe, and have demanded to meet with Brown over a “clearly immoral and illegal” decision.

Mazzone said: “We certainly hope Minister Lynne Brown has a little more guts than to fall prey to this kind of lunacy.” DM

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