Former Eskom CEO Tshidiso Matona told Deputy Chief Justice Raymond how he was suspended from the power utility without any wrongdoing, including how he took to the Labour Court where it was ruled that his suspension had been unfair.
Matona testified on how he saw it fitting to purely cut his losses – following his suspension in March 2015 – and accept severance pay of twelve months from the company.
He explained how even after the labour court ruling, when the matter was before the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA), he had hopes of getting his job back, despite Eskom not being open to the idea.
He said even after going to the CCMA, Eskom would only be open to “do a deal” with Matone and he could not return to his job. This was the view of the board and the shareholders, which was at the time the department of public enterprises.
It was then that Matone decided not to pursue the matter further as it would be fruitless, and so he would rather settle the matter with a separation pay of 12 months.
Matone maintains he had done nothing wrong, with an inquiry corroborating this fact.
Zondo questioned if Matona could ever establish why the board did not want to work with him, to which he replied he couldn’t establish an exact reason.
His own deduction on the matter was that there were interventions from external parties, which was possibly to make way for other people to fill key positions at the power utility.
Mentioning his successor Brian Molefe, Matone said he had no facts to support the claim.
Matone was coincidentally replaced by Molefe, who left Eskom under a cloud of corruption later in 2016 when he was implicated in irregular dealings with the Gupta family’s Tegeta Exploration.