Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
3 minute read
16 May 2017
6:05 am

Molefe’s return to Eskom a ‘mockery’ of black management

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

It was business as usual for the reinstated CEO on Monday despite a nation in uproar.

Protestors from the DA march past and carry placards Megawatt Park in Sunninghill, Johannesburg. Members of the DA, COPE and some private citizens protested the reinstatement of Brian Molefe as CEO of Eskom, who resigned under a cloud of suspicion earlier this year. 15 May 2017. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Reinstated Eskom group CEO Brian Molefe could do the ailing utility more harm than good, according to an expert.

The career-hopping executive officially returned to the helm at Eskom yesterday, with opposition parties Congress of the People (Cope) and the Democratic Alliance staging a sparsely attended protest outside Megawatt Park in Sunninghill.

Protestors from COPE and DA hold placards and sing outside Megawatt Park in Sunninghill, Johannesburg. Members of the DA, COPE and some private citizens protested the reinstatement of Brian Molefe as CEO of Eskom, who resigned under a cloud of suspicion earlier this year. 15 May 2017. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Protestors from COPE and DA hold placards and sing outside Megawatt Park in Sunninghill, Johannesburg. Members of the DA, COPE and some private citizens protested the reinstatement of Brian Molefe as CEO of Eskom, who resigned under a cloud of suspicion earlier this year. 15 May 2017. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Yesterday, the DA filed an urgent court application seeking to interdict Molefe from returning to Eskom as CEO. The party said in its affidavit that it was common cause that Molefe’s return would have adverse effects for Eskom and the public.

Dr Sean Muller, senior lecturer at the Public and Environmental Economics Research Centre, said although it was not necessarily common cause, there was tangible reason for concern over Molefe’s reappointment.

“Saying that it’s common cause is probably a stretch, because it’s not a matter of fact, it’s just suggestive opinion.

“However, there are concerns about Eskom’s finances, not the least in the context of the ratings downgrade.”

Protestors from COPE and DA hold placards and sing outside Megawatt Park in Sunninghill, Johannesburg. Members of the DA, COPE and some private citizens protested the reinstatement of Brian Molefe as CEO of Eskom, who resigned under a cloud of suspicion earlier this year. 15 May 2017. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Protestors from COPE and DA hold placards and sing outside Megawatt Park in Sunninghill, Johannesburg. Members of the DA, COPE and some private citizens protested the reinstatement of Brian Molefe as CEO of Eskom, who resigned under a cloud of suspicion earlier this year. 15 May 2017. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

A recent auditor-general’s report at Eskom for the 2016/17 financial year flagged a sample of 12 deals, worth more than a R1 billion, done with state employees who had made no conflict of interest disclosures.

At ANC headquarters Luthuli House, dozens of protection services personnel were seen.

It is believed the party met Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.

The Sunday Times reported that the party’s NEC summoned Brown to Luthuli house to explain her decision to reinstate Molefe.

Party spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told the paper that the ANC was disappointed with Brown for endorsing a “clearly immoral and illegal” decision of the Eskom board.

Meanwhile, the Black Management Forum condemned Molefe’s reappointment, calling it a mockery of black leadership.

The forum said Molefe’s return before he was cleared on the allegations in the State of Capture report nullified good governance.

Brown said she believed Molefe’s return would be beneficial for the embattled state entity.

Molefe resigned from his short stint as a member of parliament, a job he began on February 17.

Protestors from COPE hold placards and sing outside Megawatt Park in Sunninghill, Johannesburg. Members of the DA, COPE and some private citizens protested the reinstatement of Brian Molefe as CEO of Eskom, who resigned under a cloud of suspicion earlier this year. 15 May 2017. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

Protestors from COPE hold placards and sing outside Megawatt Park in Sunninghill, Johannesburg. Members of the DA, COPE and some private citizens protested the reinstatement of Brian Molefe as CEO of Eskom, who resigned under a cloud of suspicion earlier this year. 15 May 2017. Picture: Yeshiel Panchia

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