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Brian Molefe clams up after court dismisses his bid to appeal against Eskom pension ruling

Brian Molefe clams up after court dismisses his bid to appeal against Eskom pension ruling
Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe during a meeting with Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts on 30 May 2017. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Esa Alexander)

Disgraced former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe has declined to talk about his latest legal defeat, in which the Gauteng High Court dismissed his appeal against a ruling that he must repay unlawfully received pension payouts. Now he must cough up R9.9-million plus interest.

‘No thanks.”

That was the curt response from ex-Eskom boss Brian Molefe when Daily Maverick asked him to comment on this week’s dismissal of his appeal, which means the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund can enforce the order compelling him to pay back the money.

The dismissal was confirmed by Eskom’s group executive for legal compliance Mel Govender, during a presentation to Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on Wednesday, when she also painted a bleak picture of the scourge of corruption at the power utility.

  Judgment in Leave to Appeal of Eskom Pension and Provident Fund v Brian … by janet on Scribd

The 14-page judgment lays out compelling reasons that Molefe’s application for leave to appeal cannot succeed, including: 

“Molefe, in his supplementary answering affidavit, stated that he wanted a mediation process to determine ‘the precise’ amount that he owes. It is inconceivable that a court of appeal would find that the matter could have been mediated and therefore that the parties must on appeal be directed to consider meeting around a mediation table about something which had already been determined.”

The pension fund’s chief executive, Shafeeq Abrahams, said later on Wednesday that Molefe “reserves the right to appeal to the Supreme Court of Appeal or Constitutional Court”. However, “we are hopeful that repayment will take place soon and the matter can be put to bed”.

On 4 July 2022, the court ordered Molefe to pay back benefits unlawfully received from the fund. It also ordered the fund to repay R30-million which had been unlawfully paid to it by Eskom. The fund had already repaid that amount, said Abrahams.

End in sight?

If Molefe does not approach a higher court, the dismissal of his appeal will end a litigation process dating to 2016 when he was granted early retirement and Eskom had committed to paying the early retirement penalties and purchasing the additional years of service on his five-year contract, which came to R30.1-million after only 16 months of service.

At that time, Molefe said Eskom had mistakenly approved his early retirement in 2016 when he wasn’t eligible (he was 50 and early retirement can only be approved at 55) and that he should be allowed to return to work at the utility.


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The pension fund matter was heard by the high court after a Scorpio investigation in July 2017 highlighted Molefe’s lies about his retirement and showed how the public had been defrauded and the South African Revenue Service scammed.

Read in Daily Maverick

Newsflash: Eskom’s Brian Molefe must pay back the money

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

More money on the cards for Eskom, where the anti-corruption turnaround is gaining momentum

Molefe had resigned from Eskom after former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela exposed his close ties to the Gupta family in her State of Capture report.

Rot exposed

The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has uncovered “organised crime” at Eskom, as well as “collusion” between officials, particularly senior officials, at the utility, SIU headquarters Andy Mothbi told Scopa.

“The modus operandi, the method which they have used to fleece the monies, to conduct this act of corruption, has been exposed. We will engage with Eskom so that this modus operandi can be unpacked as part of the turnaround plan, particularly areas dealing with corruption, maladministration and malpractice exposures,” he said.

Brian Molefe now faces charges related to the Transnet locomotives deal. (Photo: Gallo Images / Business Day / Trevor Samson)

More charges

Molefe’s troubles are not over, however.

He and other former Transnet bigwigs must now face charges in connection with corruption worth R398.4-million at the parastatal.

Molefe and former group financial officer Anoj Singh – described as the “primary architects” of State Capture at Transnet – and other individuals were arrested by the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) Investigative Directorate assisted by the Hawks. 

They are charged with contravention of the Public Finance Management Act, fraud, corruption and money laundering. 

Molefe was at the helm of Transnet from 2011 to 2015 and 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 deal for 1,064 locomotives.

How Transnet became the hub of the Gupta looting frenzy was laid bare by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo in his State Capture report.

Global consulting giant McKinsey & Company SA and Vikas Sugar are the latest additions to the charge sheet.

Molefe and his co-accused will return to court on 30 November 2022. DM

Gallery

Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Alley Cat says:

    Kry vir jou! Keep up the pressure and let’s see some orange overalls for these guys!!!

  • Roelf Pretorius says:

    Good. I just think that the court system are allowing these criminals far too much leeway to deny justice to the public with all their Stalingrad techniques. There is a need for a comprehensive appeal process as we have in SA, but if it is abused to nullify its’ ends, a time must come for the judiciary to say: “That is enough; no further appeals and new issues on this issue”. A good example is when Trump kept appealing the election results in the USA without any relevant evidence, and in the end the Supreme Court unanimously (including the justices that Trump himself appointed) made the verdict that not only that case, but all other similar cases are dismissed. I think our judiciary can learn from that.

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