Molefe and Motsoeneng strengthens Legal Fund with R1,3 million

By Monica Mynhardt

Although there are thousands of people who contribute monthly to Solidarity’s Legal Fund, there were two individuals this year who made the biggest contribution to date. Brian Molefe, former Eskom CEO and Hlaudi Motsoeneng, former COO of the SABC, contributed no less than R1,3 million to this fund – two of Solidarity’s biggest success stories this year.

“In addition to the fact that Solidarity held to tax looters accountable for their offenses, the trade union managed to get these two to contribute to the fight against similar tax thieves,” said Dr Dirk Hermann, Chief Executive of Solidarity.

In 2017, Solidarity has already started with a court process against Molefe to hold him liable for the R30 million with which he unlawfully compensated himself with from the Eskom pension fund.  Molefe’s enrichment from the pension fund was not due to an administrative misunderstanding, but rather the fruit of corruption and state capture. Therefore, Solidarity tackled matter, not only in the interest of Eskom employees, but in the interest of all South Africans.

This case progressed to the Constitutional Court where the final judgment was that Molefe not only have to repay the pension benefit, but also Solidarity’s legal costs. In September this year, Molefe made a final payment of R283 758,96 to settle his total legal cost of just less than R800 000. Although the Molefe case stretched over two years, and the wheel of justice slowly turned, the wheel nevertheless turned.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng’s court battle already started in 2016 when the Labour Court ruled that he should be held personally responsible for the drama with the so-called SABC 8. Motsoeneng was directly responsible for the unlawful dismissal of eight SABC journalists who were unwilling to remain silent about the applied political censorship during that time in the SABC.

During Motsoeneng’s appeal against this ruling, ten judges of the Constitutional Court unanimously decided that he is responsible for Solidarity and Bemawu’s, who represented the SABC 8, legal costs. In January this year, Motsoeneng paid a first instalment of R300 000 and with his last instalment in August this year he settled his total debt of R460 426,77.

“Hlaudi Motsoeneng regarded himself as untouchable and politically superior. However, he was brought to task by the law and was stopped in his tracks with his open attack on press freedom and attempted political censorship from within the SABC, and very specifically the eight journalists involved,” said Hermann.

Solidarity decided to use the money paid by Motsoeneng and Molefe for similar cases against tax looters.

“Criminal politicians who get away with all their wrongdoings will no longer be tolerated,” said Hermann.

“Where politicians are accountable, Solidarity will hold them accountable. Monthly, thousands of Legal Fund members, strengthens our fight against injustice, but in 2019 these two reluctant donors unexpectedly strengthened our hands and gave us courage.”

The success story of these two court cases is much more than a win in the court for Solidarity, Hermann added. “The cases against Molefe and Motsoeneng is symbolic of an unstoppable renewed stand against the dishonesty and fraud of politicians who want to steal our country and its people’s prosperity, integrity and hope.”

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