Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe appeared before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture on Tuesday. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe appeared before the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture on Tuesday. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Brian Molefe demands Ramaphosa claims not be swept under the carpet

By Loyiso Sidimba Time of article published Mar 2, 2021

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Johannesburg – Former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe again took a swipe at President Cyril Ramaphosa at the commission of inquiry into state capture.

Molefe, who resumed giving evidence at the commission on Tuesday, took issue with evidence leader Pule Seleka not mentioning the claims he made against Ramaphosa during his recap of his testimony earlier this year.

”I hope that it is not being swept under the carpet,” Molefe complained.

In January, the former Transnet and Public Investment Corporation chief executive accused Ramaphosa of using his political influence to assist mining multinational Glencore, with which the president owned Optimum Coal Mine, of which he was chairperson until he became ex-president Jacob Zuma’s deputy in May 2014.

Molefe suggested that his allegations against Ramaphosa were being swept under the carpet during Seleka’s recap of his evidence.

He expressed his concerns that it was not being mentioned by Seleka that he has previously stated that Glencore sold shares to Ramaphosa because they wanted to use him to negotiate a higher price in its coal contracts with the power utility.

According to Molefe, in 2013 Optimum Coal Mine issued a hardship notice and initiated a hardship claim against Eskom despite the fact that the power utility was experiencing its own hardships and experiencing load shedding.

”At the time of the request to increase the price at which Optimum Coal Mine was supplying coal to the Hendrina power station from R142 to R442 per tonne, the shareholders of Optimum Coal Mine were, among others, Purito BV (owned by Glencore), with a shareholding of 67.58%, and Lexshell 849 (owned by Ramaphosa) with a shareholding of 9.64%,” Molefe stated.

He said Ramaphosa was the chairperson of Optimum Coal at the time of the initiation of the hardship claim.

However, commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo assured Molefe that nothing was being swept under the carpet.

The country’s second most senior judge said Molefe’s statement had been sent to people who were mentioned he gave evidence at the commission before his testimony was cut short by a positive Covid-19 case.

Molefe insisted that Glencore and Optimum Coal Mine were at the centre of everything that is happening.

Optimum Coal Mine was later acquired by the controversial fugitive Gupta family.

Molefe is expected to continue testifying on Tuesday afternoon.

Political Bureau

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