Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe no doubt did some digging to prove that President Cyril Ramaphosa was a non-executive director of Optimum Coal Mine. He returned to the State Capture Commission on Wednesday, March 3, 2021.
When he appeared the day before, evidence leader advocate Pule Seleka, former Glencore CEO Clinton Ephron denied Ramaphosa was the chairperson of Optimum.
“Last night I was able to print a sens announcement from Optimum, which is JSE announcements when listed companies make changes and it lists Mr Ramaphosa as being a non-executive director of the company, Optimum,” Molefe said to the commission.
He went on to tell the commission that several other publications went on to report on the announcement. Molefe took issue with the fact that Ephron’s statement was not made under oath, which meant the commission could not particularly pursue it.
“So in my opinion, I think there is sufficient evidence to show that Mr Ramaphosa was indeed chairman, It is just convenient that Mr Clint did not say it under oath,” he said.
Ramaphosa yet to file affidavit responding to Molefe’s allegations
According to the evidence leader, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s office said an official affidavit would only be filed once Brian Molefe completed his testimony. Ramaphosa has himself once labelled Molefe’s allegations as “untruths” – however his official response will add far more depth to what he has to say.
Molefe has made it a point to highlight during his testimony that Ramaphosa played a key role in some of the wrongdoing at Eskom. He said there was a conflict of interest on Ramaphosa’s part, as he had been appointed chairperson of government’s Eskom war room while at the same time, being a shareholder at Glencore, which does work with the state-owned entity.
“When the Glencore deal was done in 2012 and he bought shares, he was made chairperson. In 2014 he became deputy president of the country and chairperson of the war room,” he said.
“One would have expected that, as corporate governance requires, there must be a cooling off period. He is a person who has been saying we must renegotiate effectively a R8bn move and becomes the de facto chairperson of Eskom”
Molefe accused Ramaphosa of using his political influence to serve the interests of the company.