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Eskom: No comment on Molefe's payout

Eyewitness News logo Eyewitness News 2017-07-17 Gia Nicolaides

Eskom CEO Brian Molefe looks on after tearing up following a discussion of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's 'State of Capture' report findings during a press conference in Johannesburg on 3 November 2016. © Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN. Eskom CEO Brian Molefe looks on after tearing up following a discussion of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's 'State of Capture' report findings during a press conference in Johannesburg on 3 November 2016. Eskom says it can't comment on former CEO Brian Molefe's pension payout or reinstatement as it's currently being challenged in court.

It has emerged through leaked emails that Molefe already started planning his retirement two months after he signed his five-year fixed contract at the power utility.

Daily Maverick's investigative unit Scorpio has revealed that the Eskom pension and provident fund flouted a number of rules to help Molefe secure his extravagant “golden handshake”.

Molefe told Scorpio that he was under the impression that he could take early retirement at the age of 50.

Eskom's Khulu Phasiwe said: “In relation to his reinstatement, that matter is being challenged in court and so Eskom will take its directive from the court once this matter has been resolved.”

The newly leaked emails indicate that Molefe started planning the feathering of his retirement nest at least as early as a year before, in November 2015 – two months after he was employed by Eskom on a fixed five-year contract.

Related: The pension like no other - the truth of Brian Molefe's R30m Eskom 'golden handshake' exposed

Eskom further defrauded the public when they made a 63-year-old out of the 49-year-old – the evidence will show that Molefe was employed for 15 months at Eskom, but his pension cost was calculated as if he had worked there for 156 months (until the age of 63) and had a 10-year historical service record as an Eskom employee. This despite the fact that Eskom appointed Molefe on a five-year fixed contract, equalling 60 months of employment.

Being “retrenched” gave Molefe immediate access to a third of his pension fund, two sources with knowledge of the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund rules pointed out. The two pension fund experts Scorpio consulted said no other retirement or resignation option would have granted Molefe the same immediate access to his money.

But Eskom’s and its pension fund managers’ biggest conundrum – something they hadn’t realised until Scorpio brought it to their attention – is that Molefe was never eligible to be a member of the Eskom Provident and Pension Fund to start with.

The severely cash-strapped power utility further paid Molefe a “performance bonus” of R97,537.44 and afforded him an annual raise, backdated from April 2015 – all of this days after Thuli Madonsela published her damning State of Capture report.

Additional reporting by Daily Maverick's Scorpio.

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