Johannesburg – Disgraced former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe must pay back the R11 million pension payout he received from the power utility within ten days, the North Gauteng High Court ordered on Thursday.
Molefe was also ordered to pay the costs of trade union Solidarity.
Deputy Judge-President Aubrey Ledwaba read the full bench’s judgment that declared the decision by the Eskom Pension Fund to pay Molefe patently unlawful.
According to the judgment, Eskom’s decision to reinstate Molefe early last year is null and void as it did not comply with the state-owned entity’s memorandum of incorporation.
Molefe left Eskom in late 2016 after the then Public Protector Thuli Madonsela implicated him in suspicious dealings between The utility and the Gupta’s.
He had received around R11 million as part of a R30 million pension payout. However, the court says that claims of early retirement are contrived and false and its given clarity, finding Molefe did resign.
Molefe’s controversial reinstatement was also reviewed and set aside as well as Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown’s acceptance of the Eskom board’s decision.
Molefe’s lawyer Barry Farber: “I can’t give you much info as it’s just come down on us like a ton of bricks and, as I say, it’s very strong and you’ve to respect that.”
Solidarity chief executive Dirk Hermann said they would be pursuing a criminal case against Molefe.
Hermann said there was enough evidence of fraud and that the National Prosecuting Authority admitted in court that the Hawks were investigating the matter.
“Molefe used instruments of the nation to enrich himself,” he said.
According to Hermann, it was not only Molefe who misrepresented himself but also Brown, Eskom’s top management and its pension fund.