brian molefe

Brian Molefe sounds off alarm bells on ‘corrupt’ Ramaphosa

Andile Sicetsha - 16.01.2021

Aftar Brian Molefe’s fiery statement, President #Ramaphosa announced that if corruption charges are brought against him, he will resign.

Friday’s State Capture Inquiry was the setting of an espionage script ripped right out of the pages of an Alfred Hitchcock classic.

Former Transnet and Eskom head Brian Molefe appeared before the commission to give testimony on his involvement in the pillaging and poor management of South Africa’s power utility.

Brian Molefe opens testimony with fiery Ramaphosa accusations

Before DCJ Raymond Zondo could proceed with questioning, Molefe was allowed an opportunity to give an opening statement. What we all didn’t see coming, was an onslaught of accusations levelled against President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Molefe brought the commission into a scenario where Eskom was abused and suppressed by private companies with ties to the president, and not Gupta-linked entities.

Eskom’s former chief executive sowed the seeds of mistrust into the president and placed him at the centre of a corporate scam that pillaged a state-owned entity of more than R8 billion.

The 34-minute opening statement can be watched below but for the “TL:DW” community, here’s the gist of what Molefe said:

  • Ramaphosa was brought in to hold a 9.64% stake in Glencore and become chairperson, after the company had acquired Optimum Coal Holdings (Eskom’s coal supplier in 2011);
  • this was, according to Molefe, done to peddle “political influence and the extent to which Glencore would be able to exert pressure on Eskom directors and management.”;
  • Optimum, chaired by Ramaphosa in 2014, renegotiated a 40-year contract with Eskom, demanding a ‘R530 per-ton-of-coal increase and a waiver of R2 billion penalties accrued from failure to meet the supply agreement;
  • Coming into this tenure a year later, Molefe scuppered the deal and favoured Gupta-owned Tegeta Exploration;
  • This deal has become central to an SIU investigation into Eskom to which Molefe is a person of interest.

Was Molefe involved in State Capture?

Molefe has always maintained that he had no involvement in the pillaging and subsequent failure of Eskom. In fact, the utility’s former chief executive credits himself and Matshela Koko for ending load shedding in 2015.

For years, Molefe has maintained his innocence, placing shoddy deals like the infamous March 2015 Tegeta deal before his tenure which, coincidentally, came a month later.

However, faced with tough questioning from the inquiry’s Advocate Pule Seleka SC, he fluffed his words, often skiing off-topic and lacking the poise he held when he delivered his opening statement.

There is a lot more that needs to be covered in Molefe’s testimony but it might be a while before he returns. Zondo, shortly after the lunch adjournment, announced that he had been exposed to someone who tested positive for coronavirus.

Consequently, Molefe’s testimony was halted for another day that has yet to be confirmed.

“Sorry we can’t continue, it is one of those things one has no control over,” said Justice Zondo.