South Africa


Brian Molefe yet to pay back R9.9m, says Eskom pension fund

Brian Molefe yet to pay back R9.9m, says Eskom pension fund
Former Group Chief Executive of Transnet Brian Molefe. (Photo: Gallo Images / Daily Maverick / Felix Dlangamandla)

Eskom has successfully recovered R30m from the Eskom pension fund, as ordered by the high court. But former CEO Brian Molefe has failed to pay R9.9m ordered in the same judgment.

Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF) Chief Executive and Principal Officer Shafeeq Abrahams has confirmed that former Eskom CEO Molefe has not yet made a court-ordered R9.9-million repayment to the fund.

Abrahams’ statement follows an Eskom confirmation that it had recovered the R30-million.

On Thursday, Daily Maverick asked Molefe if he had made any payment so far. He replied: “at this stage, I do not wish to make any comments.”

The court order issued on 4 July by Pretoria High Court Judge Norman Davis reads:

“The Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (the Fund) is directed to repay to Eskom Holdings Soc Ltd (Eskom) the following amounts;

  1. The amount of R30,103,915.62 being the amount found by the full court on 25 January 2018 to have been unlawfully paid to the Fund, together with interest at the prescribed mora rate from date of the unlawful payment to date of repayment thereof.
  2. The amount of R1,345,461.79, constituting Eskom’s employer contributions on behalf of Mr Molefe (inclusive of Fund interest less applicable administration fees) together with further mora interest from 31 October 2019 to date of repayment thereof.
  3. The amount of R727,547.64, constituting the total of Mr Molefe’s own monthly pension contributions (inclusive of Fund interest less administration fees) together with further mora interest from 31 October 2019 to date of payment thereof.
  4. The amount of R123,332.98, constituting Mr Molefe’s performance bonus pension contributions (inclusive of Fund interest less administration costs) together with further mora interest from 31 October 2019 to date of payment thereof.
  5. Mr Molefe is ordered to repay the Fund the amounts of R7,981,727.94 and R2,003,812.70 together with mora interest thereon from 31 October 2019 to date of repayment.”

The unlawful R9.9-million pension payout dates back to 2016 when Molefe was granted early retirement and Eskom committed to paying the early retirement penalties and purchasing the additional years of service on Molefe’s five-year contract — R30.1-million after only 16 months of service.

Read Scorpio’s in-depth investigation: “SCORPIO: The pension like no other – the truth of Brian Molefe’s R30m Eskom ‘golden handshake’ exposed

On 25 January 2018, a full court of this division declared that “any payment or sum of money” received by Molefe under any purported pension agreement” between him and Eskom Holdings Soc Limited (Eskom) was invalid.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Newsflash: Eskom’s Brian Molefe must pay back the money

The court ordered Molefe to repay the amounts within 10 days from the date of the order. Six years later, repayment still hasn’t happened and Molefe averred that there was a factual dispute about the exact amount to be paid.

The court also found that at the time of Molefe’s resignation, he was employed on a fixed contract and hence disqualified from participating in the fund.

Explaining why Molefe didn’t make any repayment, Abrahams said: “Mr Molefe has sought leave to appeal the decision and has not yet made repayment of nearly R10-million… the Fund must await the court’s final decision before it can seek to recover the money.

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“The Fund is opposing Molefe’s application to ensure that he adheres to the July court order. The repayment of the R30-million to Eskom has not been in dispute so the Fund complied with the judgment.”

Abrahams further underlined that it was important to understand that the repayment was made in the best interest of their members to ensure compliance with the law.

The pension recovery comes a week after Molefe and former Transnet group financial officer Anoj Singh — described as the “primary architects”, along with other individuals, of State Capture at Transnet — and alleged “Gupta fixer” Kuben Moodley and Siyabonga Gama were arrested.

They face charges of contravention of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), fraud, corruption and money laundering in connection with corruption involving R398.4-million at Transnet.

Molefe, from 2011 to 2015, was a hands-on CEO at the state-owned freight, rail and logistics company.

The matter against the former Transnet bigwigs relates to a dodgy R93-million double payment flowing from the parastatal deal for 1,064 locomotives. The Gupta looting frenzy was laid bare by acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo in Part 2 of his State Capture report which describes how the parastatal became the principal site of looting by the Gupta enterprise and how Denel’s board destroyed the entity to benefit the family.

Molefe will be back in Palm Ridge Specialised Court on 14 October, along with Singh; Regiments Capital directors Nevin Pillay and Litha Nyhonyha; ormer Transnet chief financial officer Garry Pita; Eric Wood, CEO of the defunct Trillian Capital Partners; former Transnet Group Treasurer Phetolo Ramosebudi; alleged “Gupta fixer” Kuben Moodley and former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama. DM


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