Tim Bruinders SC, who was appointed by Eskom to chair a disciplinary hearing convened to consider charges levelled against Abram Masango, the power utility’s group executive for group capital, has found Masango not guilty of the charges levelled against him.
Masango was placed on suspension on 15 November 2017, and was already on suspension when the new Board assumed its office in late January 2018. The charges levelled against Masango arose from a forensic investigation initiated in 2017.
The new Board swiftly commenced with the disciplinary process and appointed an independent chairperson to ensure that these serious charges were subjected to a proper enquiry. Masango was represented by Senior Counsel at the disciplinary hearing which was held before Bruinders SC over four days in March and April 2018.
This approach is in line with the new Board’s efforts to ensure due process is followed when allegations of serious misconduct are levelled against employees, including executives, and is central to the new Board’s commitment to rooting out corruption within Eskom and implementing an effective turnaround strategy to restore investor confidence.
The Board believes that it acted in the best interests of Eskom in following due process and allowing the law to take its course. “Our starting point has never been subjecting any employee to a disciplinary process with a predetermined outcome but to look at all allegations with a fresh pair of eyes and ensure that a fair, thorough and independent process is undertaken in line with any employee’s contract of employment” said Phakamani Hadebe, Eskom’s Interim Group Chief Executive.
When the new Board assumed its role in January 2018, seven executives were facing allegations of corruption or other forms of serious misconduct. Masango was one of those executives. The new Board took steps to ensure all implicated executives were properly and swiftly subjected to a full disciplinary process to assess the allegations against them and allow them to put up a defense to such allegations. It remains of priority to the Board to pursue, within the South African legal framework, those who are alleged to have been in some of the critical governance lapses as the first step in combating corruption. Hadebe says the power utility respects the outcome of the disciplinary process and will negotiate a date for Masango’s return.
Contact Eskom, Tel 011 800-3304, email@example.com
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