File: Eskom will hold urgent talks with unions in hopes of ending a wage strike.
JOHANNESBURG - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) described the resignation of Brian Molefe as Eskom chief executive as a step forward in cleansing the state-owned power utility, calling him a “Gupta appointee” for good measure.
In a statement, EFF spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said the Eskom board should also resign or else the party would request Parliament to dissolve it.
“The EFF welcomes the resignation of the Gupta appointee Brian Molefe as CEO of Eskom. The EFF welcomes this as a step forward in cleansing state institutions of all who are linked to the Zupta criminal syndicate,” Ndlozi said.
“In the same breath, we call on the board of Eskom to also take Molefe’s example and resign to save Parliament the energy and time of having to do it itself. Suffice to say, if they do not, EFF will make sure that parliament dissolves them as soon as possible.”
Molefe tendered his resignation on Friday “in the interest of Eskom and the public it serves”, saying that he would leave his post on 1 January 2017 and would take time off to reflect before deciding on his next career move.
Molefe announced his resignation on Friday, ten days after the release of former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s “State of Capture” report which raised serious concern about his conduct in relation to the Gupta family and their mining company Tegeta.
The report revealed cellphone evidence that Molefe was at or near the Guptas’ Saxonwold compound in Johannesburg 19 times between 5 August and 17 November 2015, and that Molefe and Ajay Gupta made 58 telephone calls to one another between August 2015 and March 2016.
Ndlozi claimed Molefe had lied to Parliament about his dealings with the Guptas.
“During his tenure as CEO, Molefe had the audacity to lie to Parliament when asked about his relations with the Gupta family, specifically stating that he has never been to their home, when in reality he did,” Ndlozi said.
“The Eskom board on the other hand, is an illegitimate board that should follow its mythomaniac CEO by immediately resigning so that a new board can be appointed that will further the collective interests of the country and not those of narrow gangsters like Zuma and the Guptas.”
Eskom has accepted Molefe’s resignation, saying it was “regrettable but understandable”. The power utility said it would soon be announcing interim leadership arrangements once the board agrees with Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown.
Molefe was reduced to tears at a media briefing a day after Madonsela’s report was released. In that briefing, Eskom board chairman Ben Ngubane defended Molefe, adding that Madonsela had “struck a deadly blow against Eskom and against the people of South Africa”.
“If we lose Brian, she [Madonsela] takes the blame,” Ngubane said at the time.