Monday, January 25, 2010

This is just plain obscene and disgraceful our state utilities are being raped and plundered!

Opposition parties and labour federation Cosatu have described the R85-million lawsuit launched by Eskom's former chief executive, Jacob Maroga, as "scandalous" and a "disgrace".

"It sends the message that it is easy for the elites to get millions in packages after resigning or being fired "

This follows a report in the Sunday Times yesterday that Maroga filed a civil claim at the Johannesburg High Court demanding that he be paid "reasonable damages" if the cash-strapped parastatal would not reinstate him.

Maroga resigned in November amid controversy but in court papers he argues that the Eskom board had forced him to quit before his contract expired in 2012.

Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said that though he believes Maroga has the right to seek redress if he feels he was unfairly dismissed, the amount of money he wants sends a "terrible message".

"We should not condemn anyone who feels aggrieved when they want to take their case to court, but his actions send a terrible message to the public. It sends the message that it is easy for the elites to get millions in packages after resigning or being fired," he said.

"Maroga can't plead innocence. He is not a victim of the current situation at Eskom. He had a chance to turn things around."

Maroga is suing Eskom's acting chief executive and chairman, Mpho Makwana, and Minister of Public Enterprises Barbara Hogan for:

* R1-million a year for a "dedicated protector and driver" for his family;

* R500,000 a year for security at his home in Kyalami Estates, northern Johannesburg, and R100,000 for general home support;

* R1-million a year for "personal assistance";

* Just under R100,000 a year for a petrol and garage card, and for insurance for his Mercedes-Benz C350; and

* R5,000 a month for medical aid, to the age of 80.

Hogan's spokeswoman, Ayanda Shezi, said the minister would oppose the lawsuit and investigate claims by Maroga that he was ''threatened" into resigning.

"The allegations made by Maroga will be addressed in the course of legal proceedings," she said.

The Sunday Times reported that, in court papers, Maroga accused attorney Yunus Shaik, whom Hogan sent to mediate last year, of urging him to leave.

Eskom said in a statement that it will also oppose Maroga's application.

Both the DA and the Independent Democrats have labelled Maroga's lawsuit "disgraceful".

ID leader Patricia de Lille said the former Eskom boss's "disgraceful" demands highlight the "urgent need to review the salaries" of those heading public companies.

DA MP Pieter van Dalen said Maroga was partly to blame for Eskom's woes and his lawsuit was unjustified.

Congress of the People spokesman Phillip Dexter said yesterday that Maroga had ''run down" the company that he now wants plenty of money from.

"Given his bad performance and the debacle at Eskom, it's scandalous that he is demanding such money. He was running the organisation and was part of the group who brought it down."