OUTA welcomes Molefe 'pay back the money' judgment
The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) believes that Thursday’s judgment by the Pretoria High Court is another significant blow against state corruption and a matter which also raises questions about Minister Lynne Brown’s conduct.
Molefe must repay the full amount he received from the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund, believed to be at least R10.327 million of the R30 million which Eskom tried to pay him.
“We cannot accept that Minister Brown and the Eskom board members could condone this payout, let alone allow Mr Molefe’s reinstatement as the CE in May 2016. This is a debacle which has made a mockery of the employment procedures and governance at this SOE,” says Wayne Duvenage, OUTA’s CEO.
The time for massive golden handshakes and payments to favour the friends of Jacob Zuma and others in high places must end. Additionally, those who seek to override due process within the state and its entities must also be held accountable for allowing this gross misconduct in the first place.
The judgment, written by Judge Matojane with Judge Fabricius and Judge Mphahlele concurring, was scathing of Molefe and the Eskom board and included this comment: “What is most disturbing is the total lack of dignity and shame by people in leadership positions who abuse public funds with naked greed for their own benefit without a moment’s consideration of the circumstances of fellow citizens who live in absolute squalor throughout the country with no basic services."
The judgment found that Molefe had indeed resigned, not retired. It also noted that the claims that Molefe hadn’t been able to accumulate pension benefits, which the board used to support the pension manipulation, were not true as he had significant earnings from various positions in state employment.
"We trust this judgment will serve as a precedent and signal the beginning of the end of lucrative and fraudulent conduct of this nature within SOEs and the state as a whole,” says Duvenage.