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Eskom to probe claims that Molefe documents destroyed

There are calls for Molefe to step down after confusion over whether he resigned from Eskom last year, took early retirement or was on unpaid leave.

FILE: Eskom CEO Brian Molefe. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom will reportedly investigate whether documents and correspondence that relate to the reinstatement of Brian Molefe as CEO were destroyed shortly after they were requested by Parliament.

On Wednesday, Democratic Alliance (DA) Member of Parliament (MP) Natasha Mazzone claimed that the party had it on good authority that the power utility was in the process of destroying key documents and correspondence relating to Molefe’s reinstatement.

Mazzone has confirmed that she has received a letter from Eskom asking for a meeting over the claims but she says she is not willing to meet with Eskom's board but rather Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.

In the letter, Eskom asks Mazonne to "provide it with information that is more detailed so that it can immediately investigate the serious allegations".

The utility then says it is willing to meet with the DA MP at a date and time that is suitable to her, so that officials can obtain the relevant information.

But Mazonne says she would rather meet with Minister Brown.

"As I've said in my statement, I have referred this matter to Minster Lynne Brown. I'm happy to meet with the minister who is the stakeholder. She is the person who issued instructions to Eskom, not me. I'm quite happy to meet with Minister Brown and go through the official channels."

There are calls for Molefe to step down after confusion over whether he resigned from Eskom last year, took early retirement or was on unpaid leave.

Meanwhile, Public Protector Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane says she’s disappointed after Molefe was reinstated as Eskom CEO despite allegations levelled against him in the state of capture report.

Molefe was reinstated last week after resigning and being sworn in as a Member of Parliament.

This week, the Eskom board told Parliament that Molefe had never resigned but was in fact on extended leave.

Mkhwebane says Molefe needs to clear his name.

But she also says although she is aware that the Eskom saga is important to investigate, she is still looking at other cases.

“I’m very also disappointed with what is happening at Eskom. But the thing is, the minister and Eskom board appeared before the Parliament Committee and you know that the DA has lodged a court application, therefore, the Public Protector still focuses on old cases which are dating back four years.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)