Brown: Molefe not entitled to reappointment over state capture links

Minister Brown has released a statement after the former Eskom CEO decided to take the power utility and her to the Labour Court.

FILE: Brian Molefe speaks during a press conference in Johannesburg on 3 November 2016. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has, in her answering affidavit to the Labour Court, backed her decision to rescind Brian Molefe's reappointment to Eskom.

She says the decision was premised on an invalid agreement.

Minister Brown has released a statement and says there was no dismissal because there was no valid appointment after Molefe resigned from the power utility in November last year.

The former Eskom CEO has decided to take the power utility and Brown to the Labour Court over what he believes is an unfair dismissal.

Brown has slammed former Molefe's claims of having been unfairly dismissed, saying he was never entitled to the reappointment in the first place.

In her affidavit she says, “Since Mr Molefe's claim lies in contract and assuming that he was dismissed as he claims, the board was entitled to dismiss him summarily.”

Brown states that Molefe is not entitled to a reappointment based on his link to the state capture report.

The former Eskom boss featured extensively in the Public Protector’s report, which found that Eskom boss had apparently helped the Gupta family take over the Optimum coal mine and there was proof that he had been in regular contact with the Guptas.

In a recent amaBhungane exclusive, former Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi revealed how the Guptas apparently managed to secure the Optimum coal mine from Glencore in 2015 at a time when Molefe was in constant contact with the controversial family.

AmaBhungane’s Sam Sole says Molefe played an integral part in this "forced sale".

“In the meantime, Molefe comes in as the CEO and really is instrumental in putting on the squeeze on Glencore to the extent that they eventually back down and sell the mine to the Guptas.”

Ramatlhodi says he refused to suspend all of Glenore’s South African mining licences as Molefe and former Eskom chair Ben Ngubane had insisted.

Meanwhile, minister Brown has told the court that Molefe's application has no urgency and therefore should be dismissed with costs.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)