15 May 2017

South Africa: Leaders' Influence On Ethical Conduct - Why Do We Have a Problem?


Leaders should be expected to act with fairness, with integrity and in trust, and to use these intangible values to shape inclusive and accountable institutions. The conduct we have to counteract is, "What can I get away with?" and replace it with "How we can best serve?"

Whatever I thought of the scale of the ethical challenges before, the events at Eskom continue to catapult the issue into sharp focus. The gist of the problem is that Eskom decided to re-employ Mr Brian Molefe as its CEO after he announced his resignation as recent as November last year, and declared in his statement:

"I have, in the interests of good governance, decided to leave my employ at Eskom from 01 January 2017. I do so voluntarily."

In its attempt to explain the reasons for the decision to reappoint Mr Molefe, the board of Eskom produced a set of the most incredible reasons - key amongst these was that when Minister Lynne Brown decided to decline the Board's request to pay him a pension of R30-million; the entire deal of his resignation fell apart and since they could not pay him the R30-million, they had to re-employ him. To this shocking...

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