Former Eskom boss Brian Molefe will be back in his Eskom office on Monday, board spokesperson Khulani Qoma said in an interview with eNCA on Friday morning.
This comes six months after his voluntary departure from the utility “in the interest of good corporate governance”.
Qoma said a decision was taken in the last few days to rescind Molefe’s request for early retirement and the default position would be for him to continue as Eskom CEO.
This comes after public enterprises minister Lynne Brown in April blocked a R30 million pension payment to Molefe saying she had “considered the Eskom Board’s reasoning in formulating the proposed pension payout and cannot support it”.
“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,” she said.
She added: “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.”
Molefe in November last year left Eskom after a teary press conference where he responded emotionally to statements in former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s “State of Capture” report. The report questioned his relationship with the controversial Gupta family and implicated him personally in wrong-doing.
At the time Eskom said in a statement that Molefe decided “to step down in the interest of good corporate governance”.
“In an effort to clear his name following the release of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on her “observations” about the so-called state capture, Mr Molefe has decided to voluntarily step down to reflect and take time off,” Eskom stated.
Eskom did not at the time state that Molefe in fact applied for early retirement and did not correct assumptions that he had in fact resigned.
On Thurday morning Qoma however told eNCA in a telephonic interview that was broadcast live that the Eskom board – in response to Brown’s move on Molefe’s pension – rescinded its decision to approve Molefe’s early retirement and the default position is for him to return to his job as group CEO on Monday. The R30 million pension pay-out was nullified, he said.
Qoma said the board consulted various parties, including various lawyers and experts in various fields, in coming to the decision.
Molefe would resign as member of Parliament with his resignation being effective from Sunday, Qoma said.
The decision comes as the board is bound to report back to Brown about an investigation into acting CEO Mtshela Koko’s involvement in large Eskom deals favouring a company where is his step-daughter worked.
Qoma did not mention this investigation when asked about Koko’s position. He said there were various board discussions underway, but the default position would be for Koko to return to his former position as head of generation.