#SaxonwoldShebeen leaves Twitter shaken and stirred

2016-11-03 22:43

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Johannesburg - Eskom CEO Brian Molefe’s tearful revelation about a “Saxonwold shebeen” to explain his presence near the Gupta family’s home caused an uproar on Twitter on Thursday night.

Molefe was overcome by emotion during a press conference on the parastatal’s results presentation earlier in the day.   

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s “State of Capture” report highlighted links between the Guptas and government officials.

Cellphone evidence revealed that Molefe and Ajay Gupta, the eldest of three Gupta brothers, made 58 telephone calls to one another between August 2015 and March 2016.

The report further detailed phone calls between Molefe and Ronica Ragavan, a long-time Gupta associate who was recently appointed acting CEO of Oakbay Investments, the family's main holding company.

Cellphone tracking records Madonsela’s investigators obtained indicated that Molefe was at or near the Guptas' Saxonwold, Johannesburg, compound 19 times between August 5 and November 17 2015.

“My cellphone reflects that I was in Saxonwold 14 times, close to the herd of proverbial goats. My cellphone reflects I was in the area,” said Molefe.

"There's a shebeen there, two streets away from the Gupta(s). I will not admit or deny that I've gone to the shebeen,” he said.

The DA’s Mabine Seabe tweeted that the “shebeen” was in fact the nearby Zoo Lake Bowling Club, which closed its doors in 2014. Seabe said he was a regular at the venue and never saw Molefe there.

Twitter reacted, with creation of a spoof account representing the mystery tavern.

“Weekend special” refers to Des van Rooyen, who was appointed finance minister for a few days in December last year, to replace Nhlanhla Nene, allegedly at the Gupta family’s behest. After a public outcry, President Jacob Zuma made him co-operative governance minister.

Read more on:    twitter  |  brian molefe  |  johannesburg  |  state capture report  |  social media

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