The matter of the pension pay-out of the former Eskom GCEO, Mr Brian Molefe, has been ongoing since early 2017 when the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (“EPPF” or “the Fund”) was cited as the respondent in a matter brought by Solidarity against Eskom. There have been subsequent developments since the initial court proceedings, and as recent as 17 April 2019. In keeping our stakeholders updated and informed, we have provided a brief outline of the matter and the Fund’s response at various junctures.
North Gauteng High Court decision
The application sought for the court to declare as invalid and unconstitutional, the decision of the Board of Eskom to approve a “pension carve out” for Mr Molefe. On 25 January 2018, the High Court in Pretoria ruled on the Brian Molefe case stating that the “early retirement agreement” reached between Mr Molefe and the Eskom Board was unlawful and should be set aside. The judgment stipulated that Mr Molefe needed to repay all amounts paid to him by the Fund within 10 days. In addition, Mr Molefe was also ordered to pay the legal costs of the applicants in the matter.
Application for leave to appeal before the North Gauteng High Court
The Fund, through its attorneys in the matter, sought payment in terms of the order. In February 2018, Mr Molefe applied for leave to appeal the North Gauteng High Court judgment with regards to the pension pay-out. Mr Molefe’s application for leave to appeal was dismissed with costs on 17 April 2018. The Fund’s attorneys then sent a letter of demand to Mr Molefe’s attorneys requiring him to pay back the amounts paid to him as ordered by the court. Mr Molefe then petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal for leave to appeal the decision of the North Gauteng High Court.
Proceedings before the Supreme Court of Appeal
Mr Molefe’s petition to the Supreme Court of Appeal was dismissed and he subsequently applied for reconsideration in terms of section 17(2)(f) of the Superior Courts Act, 2013. The application for reconsideration was dismissed on 17 April 2019. The Fund, through its attorneys in the matter, subsequently wrote a letter of demand to Mr Molefe’s attorneys on 25 April 2019 requiring that he repay the amounts paid to him as ordered by the North Gauteng High Court.
In the absence of any indication from Mr Molefe that he will pursue other remedies available to him in law in connection with the judgment, the Fund will take steps to enforce the judgment. While the Fund will pursue all legal avenues to recover the funds paid, it is important to stress that the EPPF remains financially neutral with regards to this matter.