Chickens come home to roost
THE MAN who gave us the “Saxonwold shebeen” and famously shed a tear over the horrible claims against him in the State of Capture report, has something to cry about now he has to return what he received when he left Eskom two years ago.
The troubled parastatal, itself a byword for state capture, agreed to give Brian Molefe, its former chief executive, a R30 million pension when he left/ was fired/ resigned/ retired/ took leave after being named in former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s report.
Madonsela found Molefe had called Ajay Gupta 58 times between August 2015 and March 2016 and visited the Guptas’ Saxonwold home more than once a week at a time when the family was trying to buy a coal mine to supply Eskom.
Molefe left the parastatal with his golden handshake amid verbal gymnastics from the board defending the decision. After a brief tenure in Parliament as an MP he was reinstated at Eskom, left again and re-emerged as an instant colonel in the army.
On Thursday, the Pretoria High Court wasted no time in finding, “The decision by Eskom to waive penalties and buy Mr Molefe an extra 13 years of service totalling R30.1m after only 15 months’ service at the age of 50 stretches incredulity and is unlawful.
“What is most disturbing is the total lack of dignity and shame by people in leadership positions who abuse public funds with naked greed for their own benefit without a moment’s consideration of the circumstances of fellow citizens who live in absolute squalor,” Judge Elias Matojane said.
Molefe’s woes aren’t over. On Thursday, President Jacob Zuma allowed the original terms of the commission of inquiry on state capture to go ahead. The former “wonder” of Eskom, given credit for fixing load-shedding, must pay back the money and he won’t be the only one crying. There are others who are finally in the state’s sights.