NEWS & ANALYSIS

Solidarity and AfriForum to prosecute Brian Molefe

Union also says it has also obtained a warrant to attach ex-CEO's assets over unpaid costs order

Solidarity and AfriForum to prosecute Molefe

Solidarity and AfriForum today announced that they had approached Adv. Gerrie Nel of Adv. Gerrie Nel of AfriForum’s private prosecution unit  to start the process of privately prosecuting former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe. This comes after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has not taken any steps to prosecute Molefe after a fraud charge was laid by Solidarity.

Solidarity also announced that it had obtained a warrant to attach Mr Molefe’s goods for the settlement of Molefe’s debt to Solidarity following a cost order against him. Solidarity today asked the sheriff to proceed with this process. These steps came after the High Court earlier found that Molefe himself was involved in the unlawful allocation of pension money to the value of about R30 million to himself. He has already received R10 million of that money.

The High Court judges said the following in their ruling:

The decision by Eskom to waive penalties and buy Mr Molefe an extra 13 years of service totalling R30,1 million after only 15 months’ service at the age of 50 stretches incredulity and is unlawful … 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.

Based on this ruling, Solidarity has laid charges against Molefe with the South African Police Service (SAPS) and the NPA’s special investigating unit, the Hawks. Solidarity also has enquired about progress being made with the case, but received no response. “It therefore appears that there is no prosecution of any kind in spite of overwhelming evidence against Molefe. In light of this, Solidarity has asked Adv. Gerrie Nel of AfriForum’s private prosecution unit to initiate the necessary steps for private prosecution of Molefe,” said Hermann.

Molefe attempted to have this ruling and the cost order against him set aside by the Constitutional Court, but he failed. According to Solidarity Chief Executive Dirk Hermann, South Africa has been confronted over the past months with media reports on the Zondo commission and other events detailing allegations of fraud and mismanagement running into billions of rands at several public institutions. What is becoming evident from the commission and elsewhere is a total lack of accountability. South Africa simply cannot continue allowing tax plunderers to get away without consequences.

One such tax plunderer is Brian Molefe, former head of Eskom. The High Court in Pretoria has found that Molefe enriched himself by getting involved unlawfully in the allocation of about R30 million of pension funds, R10 million of which he has already received. In spite of the unambiguous findings by the court, he has not made any move to refund the money himself. “It is a pity that the courts have to become the conscience of business leaders who enrich themselves unlawfully,” said Hermann.

Solidarity is already in possession of a writ of execution, authorising the sheriff to attach Molefe’s property. This morning, Solidarity requested the sheriff to proceed with executing the attachment of Molefe’s property at his home in Cornwall Estate, Pretoria. The property will then be sold at a public auction for Molefe’s debt of R708 102 to Solidarity to be settled. This amount excludes the order as to costs in the Constitutional Court. A final taxation of these costs is yet to be done.

Previously, Solidarity also addressed a letter to the Eskom pension fund, requesting that action be taken for the repayment of the R10 million already received by Molefe. The pension fund indicated that they would wait until after the judgment by the Constitutional Court before they would begin with recovering the R10 million. Solidarity this morning wrote to the pension fund, requesting them to immediately proceed with recovering the outstanding funds. In addition, Solidarity has started preparing for legal action to put further pressure on Eskom and the pension fund not only to recover the money but also to take further appropriate action against Molefe.

Anton van der Bijl
Head: Solidarity Labour Law Services

Adv. Gerrie Nel
Head: AfriForum’s private prosecution unit

Issued by Solidarity, 13 August 2019