Molefe did not have a contract for first few months at Eskom

Brian Molefe and Anoj Singh.
Brian Molefe and Anoj Singh.

Brian Molefe did not have a contract with Eskom for several months after he started working there‚ Parliament has heard.

The inquiry into state corruption resumed again on Tuesday with the evidence of Anton Minaar who heads up executive support at Eskom. He told the committee that Molefe who started working at Eskom in October 2015‚ only received a finalised contract in March 2016.

Asked how he had been paid during this time‚ Minaar said Molefe had been paid on the advice of Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.

Minaar also insisted that despite Molefe receiving a five-year contract‚ he was a "permanent employee with a term"‚ thereby making him eligible for an Eskom pension.

"We were of the understanding that he was permanently employed‚" he said.

Molefe's initial contract had not had a term affixed to it‚ but Brown had indicated that the contract be changed in line with a cabinet-approved practice that executives in state-owned entities be employed on fixed-term contracts.

Minaar however said he had been against the five-year fixed-term contract as it was a major risk‚ was not best practice and could expose the organisation to large claims such as the R200-million golden handshake paid to former SAA CEO Coleman Andrews in 2001.

Asked by the African Christian Democratic Party's Steve Swart whether the R30-million pension which Molefe was set to receive was "morally acceptable"‚ he responded “yes”.

He said Molefe's situation had been "unique" and "Eskom had not had a better executive in a long time" he said.

IFP MP Narend Singh said it appeared that Minaar had gone "out of your way to help Mr Molefe get the best deal possible" while inquiry chair Zukiswa Rantho said it appeared the pension was "a golden handshake called retirement".

But Minaar said he had been requested by Eskom's people and governance committee to "look at options" and see what could be done.

He denied that there had been an instruction to secure a sizeable pension for Molefe.

Rantho said that Eskom had been willing to pay out R30-million to Molefe but was applying for a 19% tariff hike and questioned what she should tell people when they asked about this.

Minaar said there was "no bad intent" in the calculation of and approval of Molefe's early retirement.

The inquiry will also hear testimony from the current Eskom board and former financial director‚ Anoj Singh.