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Ngubane comes to Molefe’s defence

Ngubane says the board agreed to a "buy" a 10-year pension plan for Molefe when he joined the company in 2015.

FILE: Eskom CEO Brian Molefe speaks to Chairman Ben Ngubane before a press conference in Johannesburg on 3 November 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

CAPE TOWN – Eskom board chairperson Ben Ngubane has defended the return of Brian Molefe as chief executive and a R30 million pension payout that was due to him.

Ngubane says it's untrue that Molefe insisted on getting his job back after Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown questioned the payment.

Speaking on the sidelines of the African Utility Week conference in Cape Town on Tuesday morning, Ngubane said he believes the Eskom board and Molefe have done a good job of creating a stable energy supply for the country.

Ngubane says the board agreed to a "buy" a 10-year pension plan for Molefe when he joined the company in 2015 to compensate him for losses he would suffer by agreeing to a five-year contract and not a permanent job.

Molefe did not deliver the welcoming address at the conference on Tuesday morning, with Ngubane first saying he had urgent business to attend to and later telling journalists that he had been called to Parliament.

He did not explain why the Eskom CEO had been called to parliament and this could not be verified.

Ngubane says Eskom is lucky to have him back.

He's shrugged off calls for the board to be dissolved in the wake of the Molefe pension debacle.

“We serve at the government's pleasure. We have made a difference. I'm proud that we've made a difference at Eskom.”

Ngubane added the country has Molefe to thank for saving it from rolling blackouts.

Read the full investigative report by amaBhungane here.