It’s official: Brian Molefe’s out of Eskom – again

Brian Molefe’s reappointment as chief executive of Eskom on May 2 was rescinded on Friday by the power utility’s board.

Ben Ngubane‚ chairperson of Eskom’s board‚ said this was in line with Public Works Minister Lynne Brown’s instruction on May 31.

The board also rescinded the reinstatement agreement between Molefe and Eskom dated May 11.

Molefe was appointed to head up Eskom in October 2015 on Brown’s recommendation‚ who said he had a reputation for “turning things around” given his performance at Transnet.

But his Eskom appointment would end in tears.

Molefe allegedly enjoyed the hospitality of a Saxonwold shabeen – the term that came to signify the Gupta’s influence over South African politics – his explanation for why his cell phone placed him in the vicinity of the influential family’s home.

Prior to this‚ in an interview with EWN‚ Molefe had expressed support for the controversial family‚ saying the treatment of the family smacked of xenophobia.

“I don’t see how it’s different from the guy who was stabbed and killed in Alexandra‚ just because they didn’t like him or they didn’t like the way he spoke‚” said Molefe.

Molefe resigned‚ saying it was for the sake of good governance at Eskom.

He faired well though‚ because the ANC appointed him as a member of Parliament.

Rumours at the time suggested that this was so that President Jacob Zuma could replace then Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

When Zuma reshuffled his cabinet in March‚ the position went to Malusi Gigaba. The public outcry may have dissuaded the president from picking Molefe for the post.

Molefe hit the headlines again when it was revealed that he was due a R30-million early retirement payout. Brown put the brakes on this payout.

Then Molefe made a jubilant return to Eskom‚ claiming he hadn’t resigned but had taken unpaid leave.

During the hearings by the inter-ministerial committee‚ appointed to investigate the Molefe resign-retire-unpaid leave saga‚ Brown was advised to reverse Molefe’s reappointment. The minister announced at the end of May that she had instructed the board to rescind that reappointment.

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