/ 12 November 2009

Eskom to come clean on resignation saga

The Eskom board is expected to shed light on the resignation saga around its CEO Jacob Maroga at a media briefing on Thursday afternoon.

The board invited journalists to a briefing on the ”current developments” in Eskom at Megawatt Park in Sandton.

Meanwhile, news reports continued to suggest on Thursday that Maroga had been locked out of his office by the board.

Maroga last week apparently resigned but then seemed to retract his resignation, causing Eskom chairperson Bobby Godsell to quit.

On Wednesday, acting Eskom chairperson Mpho Makwana said the board would clarify matters on Thursday.

There has been speculation that Godsell may return if Maroga was told to vacate his position by the board.

Godsell announced to staff on Thursday that Maroga had resigned, but called off a press briefing that was due to take place after the staff meeting.

On Monday, Maroga was back in his office and had written a letter to Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan that he considered himself to still be at the helm of the electricity utility.

Shortly after that, it became public knowledge that Godsell had resigned.

He issued a statement on Monday afternoon, saying that Maroga had indeed resigned but that the failure of the government to support the board in the decision to let the CEO go, left Godsell with no option but to quit.

Then on Tuesday, Maroga was said to have been blocked from entering Megawatt Park.

Eskom spokesperson Andrew Etzinger told Bloomberg news agency that Maroga was no longer the CEO.

Political analysts have described the saga as a ”disaster” which was damaging to South Africa’s image among foreign investors, especially if it turned out to be true that President Jacob Zuma tried to interfere in the matter.

The crisis has sparked political tensions, with racism accusations.

The Black Management Forum has blamed the pressure on Maroga to go on racism, but the National Union of Mineworkers came out in
defence of Godsell, much to the ire of the African National Congress Youth League.

ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe on Wednesday cautioned against the racism accusations. – Sapa