Opposition parties say they are consulting their lawyers to urgently interdict Brian Molefe from returning to Eskom.
Two of South Africa’s biggest opposition parties have confirmed to journalists on Friday that they are seeking to intervene following news that the former Eskom CEO had resigned as a member of parliament and was due back at the electricity provider on Monday.
Eskom board spokesperson Khulani Qoma confirmed that Molefe had agreed to go back to the power utility as its chief executive after it rescinded his application for an early retirement.
Molefe in February was appointed as a member of parliament under a cloud of speculation that he was destined for a role as South Africa’s finance minister, but instead President Jacob Zuma appointed Malusi Gigaba to the post.
In 2016, Molefe resigned from his position as Eskom CEO after being implicated by former public protector Advocate Thuli Madonsela in her state capture report – a decision which he said he made in order to clear his name.
“The EFF has taken a decision to take the Brian Molefe decision to court, we think it is unacceptable. This thing is just turning our country into a banana republic,” said EFF leader Julius Malema.
He was speaking on the sidelines of a media briefing held by opposition parties and civil society, ahead of the Constitutional Court hearing an application brought by the UDM’s Bantu Holomisa for a motion of no confidence vote against Zuma to be done under secret ballot.
Malema said they had asked the EFF’s lawyers to look into what can be done about the development.
Urgent action against Molefe
“So the lawyers would advise whether we should take it on an urgent basis or not. The principle is, it is being taken to court. The decision to be made is whether it is on an urgent basis, or if it will follow normal court process,” said Malema.
Cope’s Mosouia Lekota said it would be wise for Molefe to note that he was not CEO of Eskom yet.
“He must remain in the portfolio committee until then,” said Lekota.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane, who described the move as irrational, said they too were looking at taking urgent action against Molefe’s supposed return to Eskom.
“No individual can loot state money, be found against in the state capture report, fail to appeal that state capture report, then proceed in the [act] of clearing his name, fail to do that and then go back to Eskom,” said Maimane.
APC’s Themba Godi, who is also the chairperson of the public accounts committee, said a confident Molefe confirmed the news to him on Friday when they bumped into each other at the airport.
“He was the first to inform me that he is back at Eskom, complaining about the fact that on Wednesday the public accounts committee and treasury were discussing the Tegeta coal contracts and would like Eskom to be given a chance to clear themselves,” said Godi, adding that Eskom had already been invited to do so within the next two or three weeks.
Political commentator and representative of the Freedom Movement Prince Mashele said they would bring an interdict against Molefe. He added that if anyone else brought one against Molefe, they would also support that.