South Africa 17.7.2017 02:56 pm

Derek Hanekom challenges Molefe to give away his Eskom millions

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe.

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe.

The former ANC minister clearly doesn’t believe Eskom’s former CEO deserves any more money.

Amid a stream of reactions to the news that axed Eskom CEO Brian Molefe will be paid a bonus of R2.1 million despite currently being in a legal battle with Eskom to get his job back, former ANC minister Derek Hanekom has challenged him to give the money to Eskom workers.

The other executives who will controversially be getting bonuses are suspended acting CEO Matshela Koko (R1.5 million) and Gupta-linked CFO Anoj Singh (R1.9 million).

“We are paying bonuses because people have met and exceeded their performances,” Eskom’s spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe said on Sunday.

The Sunday Times reported that the beleaguered parastatal was facing dire financial constraints and had only enough cash to last it for the next three months, which could see it unable to pay salaries to its 49 000 employees in November. The parastatal, however, disputed this, saying their financial statements would show it was doing better than previous years.

Phasiwe said the executives had met performance targets set by the utility at the beginning of the financial year, which had been accepted by the Eskom board and Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.

“What makes business sense is when you’re given a target at the beginning of the financial year before any money is made … If you do meet those targets and for whatever reason your employer is not able to compensate you then you are talking about something else.”

It was also reported by the Scorpio investigative unit on Monday that Molefe’s resignation “in the interests of good corporate governance” on 11 November last year had been “a lie”.

Leaked emails have indicated that Molefe “started planning the feathering of his retirement nest at least as early as a year before, in November 2015 – two months after he was employed by Eskom on a fixed five-year contract”.

The report alleged Eskom had “defrauded the public when they made a 63-year-old out of the 49-year-old” and that Molefe, the then Eskom board chair Dr Ben Ngubane, Eskom executive support manager Anton Minnaar and senior Eskom officials “repeated lies in affidavits to court, under oath”.

In a leaked email, Minnaar allegedly instructed the parastatal’s provident fund to calculate “Molefe’s pension fund costs as if he would take early retirement at the age of 50 on 31 December, 2016”, but the calculations were to be done as if Molefe were 63 years old and all penalties needed to be waived.

This, however, should not have been permissible according to the fund’s own rules.

Twenty days after Ngubane had signed off on Molefe’s annual salary hike on 24 November last year – not long after he was implicated in serious possible corruption involving the Gupta family in former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report – Ngubane also allegedly approved Molefe’s “early retirement”.

Scorpio concluded that: “The end result was that Molefe only worked for 15 months at Eskom until he was 50 years old, but received a pension fund benefit calculated on 156 months, as if he were 63 years old and had a 10-year service history. These skewed factors were used to ramp up Molefe’s pension fund to R30.1 million.”

This bizarre calculation and its proposed payment was ultimately stopped by Brown.

Hanekom tweeted on Monday that Molefe now had an opportunity to “redeem himself” by giving his bonus to the workers.

The former tourism minister also tweeted his disdain at news that the SACP had been told by President Jacob Zuma that Pravin Gordhan and Mcebisi Jonas had been working to overthrow the state, which was ostensibly why they were fired from the finance portfolio.

Hanekom lost his job as tourism minister in the same cabinet reshuffle.

Zuma later denied that he had ever mentioned any intelligence report as among his reasons for firing the cabinet ministers and a number of deputies, but the SACP’s Solly Mapaila said on Sunday that he had deposed to an affidavit against Zuma for allegedly lying about this.

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