28 May 2017, Johannesburg — President Jacob Zuma has set up an inter-ministerial committee to “gather facts” about Brian Molefe’s return to Eskom.
“Cabinet is concerned about the recent developments at Eskom. Cabinet appreciates that the matter regarding the re-employment of Mr Brian Molefe as the Chief Executive Officer of Eskom is before courts and in Parliament, and shall therefore respect these processes,” it said in a statement on Thursday.
The DA, EFF and Solidarity had approached the courts to ask that Molefe’s reinstatement be reviewed and set aside.
The committee would include Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown and the ministers of energy, finance, and justice. The ANC said Brown’s statements about Molefe were disingenuous and could amount to perjury.
Justice Minister Michael Masutha would be the committee’s convenor.
Two weeks ago, Molefe resigned as an ANC MP and returned to the power utility as CEO. He had resigned in November 2016 after he was named in the public protector’s State of Capture report.
Earlier on Thursday, Brown announced an inquiry into alleged corruption at Eskom. It would likely be conducted the Special Investigating Unit and overseen by a judge.
Briefing reporters before her budget debate, Brown said since South Africa first experienced rolling blackouts in 2007, there had been at least seven investigations into alleged maladministration and corruption at the utility. Several of these were commissioned by Eskom’s board and they culminated in the State of Capture report, which was released in November last year.
“Eskom’s reputation has been torn to shreds, and the company has been reduced to a symbol of state-owned malfeasance,” she said.