Brian Molefe. Picture: MARTIN RHODES
Brian Molefe. Picture: MARTIN RHODES

Trade union Solidarity is giving former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe seven days to pay the R700,000 owed to it, while the power utility has given him until next week to cough up about R10m in pension payments that were unlawfully paid to him. 

Solidarity said it received a letter from Molefe's lawyers on Friday requesting a 30-day postponement for the payment of R700,000. This was after the trade union had instructed the sheriff to proceed with the attachment of Molefe's property.

Solidarity CEO Dirk Hermann said a period of 30 days was an unnecessarily long time for the repayment and wrote a letter giving Molefe seven days to pay the money. 

This comes after Molefe lost his final bid in the Constitutional Court earlier in August to appeal against a judgment that ordered that he pay back the pension payments, which were unlawfully paid to him by Eskom’s pension fund.

In April 2018, the high court in Pretoria dismissed Molefe’s application for leave to appeal against a ruling that he pay back part of his “unlawful” pension payout and the costs for counsel in the legal battle.

The high court found he was unlawfully awarded a R30m early retirement pension benefit by the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund after his resignation from Eskom in 2016.

It also dismissed his application to be reinstated as CEO of Eskom, from which he claimed he had never resigned, as the agreement that necessitated his departure from Eskom was dependent on his eligibility for early retirement.

Molefe has exhausted every avenue to appeal the court ruling and will now have to pay back the money.

On Friday, Solidarity said the Eskom Pension Fund had told the trade union that it had given Molefe until August 22 to repay it, adding that if it did not receive the money it would take legal action to recover it.

“For Solidarity, it is solely about accountability. Money cannot be plundered by tax plunderers and then they walk away scot-free,” Hermann said.

“We trust that the pressure we exerted on Mr Molefe will be a warning to other tax plunderers. They will be held accountable for their unlawful actions, and they will not be able to hide behind court processes any longer.”

He said Solidarity had also written to the National Prosecuting Authority to compel it prosecute Molefe.

quintalg@businesslive.co.za