'MAROGA INSULTs too Much for minisTER'

ACTION: Fired Eskom boss Jacob Maroga is suing the power utility for R85million. Pic: BAFANA MAHLANGU. 07/06/2010. © Sowetan.

20100607 BMA Former Eskom CEO Jacob Maroga leaving the South Gauteng High Court. He is suing Eskom for unlawfully terminating of his contract. PHOTO: BAFANA MAHLANGU
ACTION: Fired Eskom boss Jacob Maroga is suing the power utility for R85million. Pic: BAFANA MAHLANGU. 07/06/2010. © Sowetan. 20100607 BMA Former Eskom CEO Jacob Maroga leaving the South Gauteng High Court. He is suing Eskom for unlawfully terminating of his contract. PHOTO: BAFANA MAHLANGU

AXED Eskom boss Jacob Maroga insulted Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan, which led to a "breakdown of trust" in their relationship.

The Johannesburg high court heard from Hogan's senior counsel Karel Tip yesterday that Maroga had "set about in his founding affidavit to speak about the minister and Eskom in the most derogatory way possible".

The court, which reserved judgment in the case after two-and-a-half days of arguments, further heard that Maroga could not be reinstated because he had insulted Hogan in court papers he filed to get an R85million payout for unlawful dismissal.

Maroga is claiming the millions from Eskom for benefits he would have accrued if he had stayed on until 2011 when his contract would have ended.

In papers filed two months after his sacking last November, amid a dispute over whether he had resigned or not, Maroga accused Hogan of colluding with Eskom's board to say he had in fact stepped down.

Maroga was subsequently fired on the grounds of poor performance.

His counsel argued this week that he was given a deferred bonus of R2,2million on February 28 for achieving a 70percent grade in a performance assessment last year by the then Eskom board chairperson Bobby Godsell.

Senior counsel Vincent Maleka said only Hogan had the power to dismiss Maroga - and not the Eskom board.

But Tip said Hogan "does not interfere with the day-to-day running of the Eskom board".

Hogan was not at the Eskom strategic board meeting on October 28 last year.

Tip said Hogan only became involved later when she and her deputy Enoch Godongwana met Maroga to try to resolve the dispute. - Additional reporting by Sapa

X