Eskom pension fund accuses Brian Molefe of using delay tactics to not pay back R10m

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe at the State Capture Inquiry.

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe at the State Capture Inquiry.
Rosetta Msimango/City Press

Eskom’s pension fund has accused the power utility’s former head, Brian Molefe, of trying to delay his obligation to pay it R10 million.

Earlier this month, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria ruled that Molefe had to pay the fund the R9.98 million that he was wrongly awarded when he stepped down. Molefe was ordered to pay the money, plus interest, within 10 days.

The Eskom Pension and Provident Fund said at the time that it hoped the ruling would bring the drawn-out matter to a close.

But on Wednesday, the fund said it had learned that Molefe now intends to appeal the ruling.

“The [fund] believes there are no merits to Mr Molefe’s appeal, and it is an attempt to delay the implementation of the court order,” said its chief executive Shafeeq Abrahams.

The saga of Molefe’s pension dates to 2018, when a court set aside all his Eskom-linked pension payouts and ordered him to pay back the money he had received.

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But the former Eskom boss did not pay back the funds, arguing that he didn’t know how much he needed to pay.

On 4 July, Judge Norman Davis of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria set out what Molefe had to pay: R9 985 540, plus interest calculated from 31 October 2019.

Davis also thought it necessary to reconfirm Molefe’s obligation to “proverbially ‘pay back the money'”.

In his ruling, Davis questioned the logic of Molefe’s legal defence, which appeared to agree that he needed to pay back money to the pension fund. If this was the case, why had he not done so, Davis asked?

“If there was already legal certainty that Mr Molefe should pay back all the benefits received as a result of the unlawful participation in the benefits of the pension scheme … Why has that not yet taken place?”