Brian Molefe 'vindicated' after Corruption Watch withdraws case

But withdrawal does not mean former Transnet and Eskom CEO is exonerated, says Corruption Watch executive director Karam Singh

10 June 2024 - 18:23
By Ernest Mabuza
Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe. File photo.
Image: Trevor Sampson Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe. File photo.

Former Transnet and Eskom CEO Brian Molefe's lawyer says he feels vindicated following the withdrawal of a court application by Corruption Watch that he be declared a delinquent director. 

In 2018 the non-profit organisation launched the application in which asked the Pretoria high court to declare Molefe acted in a manner that amounted to gross negligence in the performance of his duties at Eskom.

Corruption Watch also asked the court to declare that the declaratiom of delinquency against Molefe — and former Eskom board directors Mark Parmensky, Anoj Singh, Venete Klein and Zethembe Khoza — subsist for seven years in respect of public and private companies. 

In a notice dated June 7, Corruption Watch withdrew the application against Molefe by agreement between the parties and that each party will bear their own costs. 

Commenting on the withdrawal on Monday, Molefe’s attorney Mpho Molefe of Molaba Attorneys said his client was vindicated by the withdrawal of the application.

The lawyer said Molefe suffered enormous damages economically and professionally, and his reputation was damaged by the baseless and defamatory statements against him.

The lawyer said Corruption Watch did not give reasons for its withdrawal. 

“He feels vindicated. If Corruption Watch believed in the merits of their matter, they would not have withdrawn,” the lawyer said. 

He said the former Eskom CEO’s legal team was shocked in what it read in Corruption Watch’s founding papers and replying papers. “They relied on media reports or social media. Most of it was based on that,” Molefe said. 

The lawyer said the legal team is considering various options after the withdrawal. 

"We will most probably advise him to institute action against some of the who made statements against him. We might go against them. We are considering action against Eskom. It kept quiet instead of putting the record straight. They decided to fold their arms.” 

When approached for comment on Monday, Corruption Watch said it would issue a statement later. However, Corruption Watch executive director Karam Singh director told Business Report on Saturday the organisation would explain there were challenges sustaining the application against Molefe based on the way it was formulated since it was drafted before the Zondo commission’s report.

Singh said the withdrawal did not mean Molefe was exonerated because the Zondo commission recommended further investigations around Molefe’s conduct as Eskom CEO. 

Despite the withdrawal of the application by Corruption Watch, Molefe and other former Transnet executives are facing charges of contravening the Public Finance Management Act, fraud and corruption. The charges stem from the locomotives transaction advisory tender awarded to the McKinsey-led consortium in 2012 resulting in the procurement of 1064 locomotives valued at over R54bn. 

Last month the Johannesburg high court postponed the case until October 11 for a trial date.