The African National Congress says it “condemns the unfortunate and reckless decision” taken by Eskom’s board to reinstate Brian Molefe as Chief Executive Officer.
Molefe will be returning to his old job on Monday, the parastatal told CNBC Africa.
Sunday is likely to be Molefe’s last day as a Member of Parliament. The news was further confirmed by the Eskom board spokesman, Khulani Qoma on Talk Radio 702.
This comes after South Africa’s public enterprises minister blocked the power utility from giving its former chief executive a 30 million rand ($2.3 million) pension payout.
Molefe, who is largely credited with stabilising electricity supply following months of rolling blackouts, resigned last year after he was implicated in a report by the anti-graft watchdog on alleged influence-peddling.
Molefe denied any wrongdoing.
According to the ANC’s statement: “Molefe left Eskom under a cloud following the release of the Public Protector’s report into State Capture late last year. The report, while still under review, made observations against Mr. Molefe which, at the time, he had deemed serious and significant enough to warrant his resignation. Amongst others, he cited the interests of the company, good corporate governance and the interest of the public, as underlying his departure from the utility.
“None of the observations against Mr. Molefe, so significant at the time, have been conclusively set aside and Mr. Molefe’s own commitment to fully clear his name is still pending. The decision therefore to reinstate him in his former position without these matters being resolved is tone deaf to the South African public’s absolute exasperation and anger at what seems to be government’s lackluster and lackadaisical approach to dealing decisively with corruption – perceived or real”.
The ANC says it will engage with Lynne Brown, the Minister of Public Enterprises, under whose authority Eskom falls and under whose direction the entity should operate on this matter
Last month Brown blocked R30 million pension payout stating “I have considered the Eskom board’s reasoning in formulating the proposed pension payout and cannot support it.
Brown said the payout could not be seen as a performance reward, as Molefe had already received a bonus for his role in turning Eskom around.
“Nor is the proposed pension payout justifiable in light of the current financial challenges faced not only by state-owned companies, but by the country as a whole,” she said.