Glencore dismisses Brian Molefe’s state capture allegations
Johannesburg - Mining company Glencore has rejected allegations made by former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe at the commission of inquiry into state capture on Friday.
Molefe told the commission Glencore effectively used President Cyril Ramaphosa’s political influence to assist the company in its dealings with Eskom.
The former Public Investment Corporation and Transnet chief executive testified that Glencore made Ramaphosa chairperson of its partly owned Optimum Coal Mine (OCM) in 2012.
OCM’s shareholders were Glencore, which owned 67.58%, and Ramaphosa’s Lexshell 849, in which the president had a 9.64% shareholding.
”Ramaphosa must have known about what Glencore sought to achieve, he was the chairperson of a company that was bought without a due diligence, he was chairperson when the penalties were imposed, he was still chairperson of OCM when the unlawful agreement that sought to increase the price of coal from R150 and set aside the penalties negotiated with certain members of Eskom staff in 2014,” Molefe told the commission.
Molefe was referring to the R2 billion in penalties that Eskom issued to Glencore.
”He knew that he was being used for his political standing and hoped to influence matters in Glencore’s favour,” he said.
However, Glencore has dismissed the allegations made by Molefe.
”Ramaphosa, who was Glencore’s long-standing BEE partner, partnered with Glencore in 2011 and 2012 in acquiring an interest in Optimum.
“Ramaphosa exited his stake in Optimum in May 2014 prior to his appointment as deputy president,” the company said.
Molefe claimed Ramaphosa became deputy president without any cooling-off period after leaving Glencore.
Commission chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Friday said an official working very closely with him tested positive for Covid-19 and he would have to self-isolate and test.
Molefe could not complete his evidence as a result and he would return at a date yet to be determined or continue via virtual platforms although his lawyers said they preferred a normal hearing.