Election results tuesday south africa

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Ramaphosa must ‘assure’ nation after Molefe’s damning allegations at state capture inquiry

The call comes after disgraced former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe told the state capture inquiry this week that Ramaphosa had been involved in state capture and the peddling of political influence for personal benefit while Deputy President.

Election results tuesday south africa

Photo: Flickr / GCIS

The “serious allegations” leveled against President Cyril Ramaphosa by former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe at the state capture commission necessitates the need for the President to appear before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture and give his record of events.

Molefe testified before Commission Chair Judge Raymond Zondo that Ramaphosa used his position as the country’s deputy president to protect and secure lucrative coal deals for mining giant Glencore after it gave him a stake and appointed him chairperson.

Ramaphosa described Molefe’s version as being “far from the truth,” even undertaking to “step down if charged with corruption.”

“I think there is a level of untruth in saying I got shares because I wanted to advance the interests of Glencore, It’s far from the truth – people will say things to tarnish either people.”

Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth?…

Political analyst, Dr Metji Makgoba, said Ramaphosa, as a “responsible person” should appear before the Commission to “assure the nation,” but at the same time alleged double standards on the part of the President.

“This tells us that the whole infrastructure of the ANC is rotten because while Ramaphosa preaches on being an anti-corruption and antistate capture, he was also involved in processes of taking advantage of the loopholes of state entities and how they do businesses with the private sector.”

The disgraced Molefe, once the highest authority at Eskom, further claimed that Ramaphosa in tandem with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan “brought back load-shedding” at the power utility when they “took over” in 2018.

He also alleged that the pair defunded and forced out skilled executives as part of a ploy to collapse the power utility and pave the way for its privatization.

‘Things are taking a turn’

Fellow analyst Ralph Mathekga said: “When you hear someone implicating the president things are taking a turn. If the president has got nothing to worry about, he can just go and give his version as he always said he is available. Now he is in the position where he might have to do that and that he must lead by example.”

“Those who criticized him have always said he is not beyond reproach. It means that whenever he is trying to put pressure on those who are facing difficulties they end up saying: ‘Mr. President you yourself as well.'”

“So when you are in a difficult situation where you have to lead by example, you might have to lead all the way because people will be saying you took this responsible position and now that your name comes out you are no longer willing to follow through.”

Molefe’s ‘war room’ moans

Molefe, who has been accused of crippling despite being credited with ending load-shedding in the country in 2015, stunned the Zondo Commission, indeed the nation, when he fingered Ramaphosa for corruption during his brief, but bombshell testimony.

He told the Commission that the utility had a “de facto board” established outside of the company in the form of a ‘war room’ in the Presidency.

“Management had to report to the war room.”

He further explained that Ramaphopsa, who was deputy president at the time and was responsible for government business, chaired the said war room.

“This effectively made him the de facto chairperson of Eskom and put him in a powerful position to pursue Glencore’s agenda at Eskom. Its membership included people like Prof Anton Eberhard from UCT (University of Cape Town), who has never uttered an intelligent academic or sane word about electricity or corporate strategy in my presence.”

Molefe said he later realized that the war room was not about load shedding and turning Eskom around.

He claimed that he stopped attending its meetings because he was uncomfortable with the discussions which were tuned to collapsing entity while paving the way for its eventual privatization.

In 2019, Molefe failed in his bid before the Constitutional Court to appeal a decision that he pay back some of the R30m pension he got from the embattled power utility.

Molefe was ordered to repay about R10m, which was found to have been illegally paid out to him by the Eskom Pension and Provident Fund (EPPF). 

He was also fingered in multi-million rand corrupt activities during his tenure as Transnet CEO.