Sa’s former president – Jacob Zuma instructed her that a process to replace the Eskom boss at the time, Jacob Maroga must be put on hold‚ former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan said on Tuesday.
Barbara Hogan served as a minister in 2009 when Maroga was CEO at the parastatal‚ was testifying before the state capture commission of inquiry.
She narrated how she had a four-and-a-half-hour meeting with Maroga on November 4 of that year in which Maroga was insistent that she intervene in a dispute between himself and Eskom’s board.
Maroga whose contract was to end in 2012‚ accused the board of conniving against him. The next day the Eskom board informed senior management that Maroga was no longer CEO, Hogan continued.
The former head of state at the time was away. However‚ Hogan said: “I got a telephone call from the president and he was really furious and he was shouting at me.”
Speaking of the conversation with Zuma‚ she said: “He said ‘Maroga‚ you’ve got to stop it.’ He said tell them (the Eskom board) that they have got to stop now … And short of just defying him‚ it was a very confusing situation.”
Hogan told the commission: “I didn’t have any knowledge if the president had any further matters which he could not disclose to me.
“It was a complete and utter nightmare and should never have taken place … The issues were so profound from a constitutional point of view that you didn’t have time to think this through.”
Hogan explained that she met with president Zuma on the 6th of November.
“He (Zuma) said ‘this is the deal’. He said I (Hogan) will confirm Maroga back as the CEO‚ he will come back to his office and he will then write his story and the board will write their story and then I as a minister will determine the merits of each case.
“I was not happy with that. I explained my concerns about that‚” Hogan said.
Maroga took to court after he resigned and the board approved the resignation. He demanded payment of R85m for what he deemed as unfair dismissal.
However, Eskom opposed his application stating that his employment contract had been terminated voluntarily. The high court in Johannesburg rejected the claim.