PRESIDENT Cyril Ramaphosa has denied claims by former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe that he was responsible for the collapse of Eskom, including its current bouts of load-shedding.
According to a Sunday Times report, Ramaphosa said he never gave instructions nor pressured the board to renegotiate a contract with Glencore, challenging Molefe to provide proof of his allegations.
“No, no, no. Never … I never gave that instruction and obviously he will have to prove it,” said Ramaphosa.
During his appearance before the State Capture Inquiry on Friday, Molefe testified that Ramaphosa and the Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan helped destroy state-owned companies, particularly Eskom.
He accused Ramaphosa of conflict of interest regarding Eskom, saying the then deputy president shouldn’t have been appointed chairperson of Eskom’s war room, because he was a shareholder at the Glencore mining company that was doing business with the utility.
He said Ramaphosa was at the centre of an allegedly unjustifiable coal contract worth R1.4 billion awarded to Glencore in 2012.
Molefe also revealed to the commission that Ramaphosa had a 9.4% stake in Optimum Mine which was later bought by Glencore.
“The deputy president of the country was the chairperson of the war room; he was in fact the de facto chairperson of the war room. The de facto chairperson of a de facto board that was outside the company,” said Molefe.
“He was a de facto chairperson and had started playing this role directly from being the chairperson of Optimum. When the deal was done in 2012 or he was sold shares or he bought shares, he was made chairperson. 2014 he became deputy president and chairperson of the war room. One would have expected, corporate governance requires that there must be a cooling-off period.”
Molefe further told the commission that he doesn’t know Salim Essa and that he has never met him.
Quizzed about the Gupta family, Molefe admitted he started interacting with the Gupta’s around 2007 or 2008, adding that he’s been to their house quite several times.
He said that the Guptas came to South Africa with a vision, adding that they were prepared to buy one of South African banks.
(SOURCE: INSIDE POLITICS)