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Brown, Eskom board to answer to Parliament on Molefe's return

May 17 2017 17:55
Mahlatse Gallens, News24

Johannesburg - Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown and the Eskom board have been summoned to Parliament to explain why they rehired Brian Molefe as CEO.

"The acting chairperson of the portfolio committee on public enterprises, Daphne Rantho, has agreed to the DA’s request that Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, and the Eskom board be hauled before the committee to account for the Molefe fiasco as well as the disastrous state of Eskom," DA MP Natasha Mazzone said on Wednesday.

The DA wanted Brown and the Eskom board to voluntarily submit themselves to a parliamentary inquiry, to hold the parastatal to account and determine how Molefe returned as its CEO.

READ: Molefe saga overshadows start of #AUW2017

Molefe announced his resignation from Eskom in November 2016, after he was mentioned in former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report.

She investigated the Gupta family's alleged undue influence on President Jacob Zuma and state-owned entities.

He got a new job as an ANC MP, and speculation followed that Zuma wanted to appoint him as finance minister. Malusi Gigaba however got the job. Molefe returned to Eskom after Brown rejected the board’s decision to give him a R30m pension payout.

On Friday, she approved the board's decision to re-hire him. The ANC had demanded that she reverse her decision.

She was summoned to ANC headquarters Luthuli House on Monday to explain the decision. Brown's office refused to comment on the party’s orders.

"The meeting agreed that the government must resolve the matter. Minister Brown is in discussion with the president and deputy president on the matter," Brown's spokesperson Colin Cruywagen said.

READ: Molefe ‘retired’ to protect new wife from media frenzy – Eskom chair

The DA would call on the ANC members on the committee to support the call for an inquiry.

“The ANC has in recent days made much of their opposition to Molefe’s return to Eskom, yet hypocritically it is the very ANC policy of cadre deployment and cadre re-deployment that has resulted in this fiasco,” Mazzone said.

Eskom again courted controversy following former mining minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi’s allegation on Tuesday that Molefe and chairperson Ben Ngubane tried to pressure him to help the Guptas take over Glencore’s Optimum coal mine in 2016.

Ngubane had dismissed the claims. When Molefe returned to Eskom on Monday, employees welcomed him with fanfare.

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