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'Brian Molefe's payout was unlawful'

Solidarity’s Dirk Herman says Molefe was never eligible for pension because he was appointed on a fixed-term contract.

FILE: Brian Molefe. Picture: EWN

PRETORIA - Trade Union Solidarity (TUS) says legal correspondence with former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe and the utility’s board has revealed clear evidence that his R30 million pension payout amounted to criminal conduct.

The trade union is discussing its litigation strategy against Eskom at a briefing in Centurion on Thursday morning.

Solidarity is approaching the High Court in Johannesburg next week to have the decision to grant Molefe pension set aside and that he pay back the R10 million already paid out.

Solidarity’s Dirk Herman says Molefe was never eligible for the pension because he was appointed on a fixed-term contract.

“He received higher remuneration because he did not receive a pension. He does not qualify for a pension benefit because he was not a permanent employee, and he did not make pension contribution to the pension fund.”

Herman accuses the board and Molefe of making the misrepresentation that Molefe was a permanent employee and abided by the rule of the pension fund.

“They knew it was false, yet the unlawful actions were processed with court documents from the Minister of Public Enterprises and Eskom pension fund confirmed misrepresentations that boil down to unlawful actions.”

Solidarity says the minutes of an Eskom meeting reveal Molefe was among the group of people who decided on and awarded his R30-million pension payout.

Solidarity’s Anton van der Bijl says Molefe claims in various affidavits that he was never a member of any Eskom director committee but the records tell a different story.

Van der Bijl referred to the minutes of an Eskom people’s and governance committee meeting where Molefe’s R30-million pension payout was given the green light.

“Mr Molefe attended the meeting. He was part and parcel of the decision to award and to decide on the pension carve out.”

Solidarity’s application is set down for three days next week.

Meanwhile, the Eskom Inquiry has been postponed until Tuesday.

The parliamentary probe was due to hear from members of the Eskom board on Thursday afternoon.

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown testified until late on Wednesday night, suggesting former Eskom chairperson Zola Tsotsi was not telling the truth when he claimed she met with Tony Gupta and his associate Salim Essa at her home.

She also claimed Eskom deliberately lied to her about dealings with Trillian.