News / South Africa

Gosebo Mathope
2 minute read
12 May 2017
4:51 pm

Eskom board accused of fiduciary dereliction

Gosebo Mathope

The board of Eskom is accused of dereliction of fiduciary responsibilities and cronyism.

The Black Management Forum (BMF), Congress of Trade Unions (Cosatu) and National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) have all branded the decision to rehire Brian Molefe as Eskom CEO as questionable. They also all agree that it is not in the interest of good governance.

Black business lobby group BMF believes this decision “makes a mockery of black leadership, particularly in state-owned entities”. They are baffled by why Molefe, who himself stated that his resignation from Eskom was in the best interest of good governance, is returning to Eskom before being cleared of allegations made in the State of Capture report.

The board of Eskom is also accused by the business formation of breaching its fiduciary duty. “It [Eskom] did not act in the best interest of the company since its decision puts the individual ahead of the entity, the organisation said. We are now questioning all its other decisions,” the organisations said.

Anele Ndlovu, BMF head of communications, announced that they would be seek a meeting with the leadership of Eskom to engage on this matter. “In addition, the BMF will request a separate meeting with Minister Lynne Brown to engage on this matter and other related matters.

Cosatu concurs. “This decision is a sign of how corruption has been normalised in this country and the level of deterioration that has taken place in our government and in our state parastatals,” said Sizwe Pamla, their spokesperson.

“This has bolstered our previous assertion that the only reason that Brian Molefe was deployed to parliament was so that he could be appointed as the minister of finance. He is now being sent back to Eskom so that his handlers can continue with their project of looting the state resources,” Pamla said.

The trade union said the explanation by Brown was “unconvincing”. It said that showed that the country is governed by a corrupt oligarchy that was not accountable to anyone. Cosatu further called on the ruling party, ANC, “to provide necessary leadership on this matter and stop acting helpless during a time of crisis”.

National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) expressed similar concerns. Their spokesperson, Phakamile Hlubi, asked why the minister could justify reinstating Molefe by saying she did not agree with his R30-million pension payout. “That amount was itself excessive. Brian Dames worked for longer than Molefe at Eskom and only received over R20 million. How did Molefe rake up R30 million in 18 months,” she pointed out.

As a result, Hlubi told The Citizen that Numsa would be demanding an independent investigation in to the matter. “This reappointment smells of cronyism. The public protector must get involved. When our shop stewards resign at the spur of the moment at Eskom because management bullies, they don’t have the luxury of changing their minds,” she said.