ANC wants Molefe gone from Eskom amid ‘preposterous’ Gupta claims

Brian Molefe may have not have much time left as Eskom chief executive if the ANC gets its way.Picture: NELIUS RADEMAN (Nuus Noord)
Brian Molefe may have not have much time left as Eskom chief executive if the ANC gets its way.Picture: NELIUS RADEMAN (Nuus Noord)

Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe might not be in his reappointed role much longer. The ANC has ordered Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown and Eskom to rescind their decision to reappoint Molefe.

ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe told News24 yesterday that the party had met with Brown “and all of us present said ‘comrades, that decision must be rescinded’.”

This followed the earlier allegations of state capture that were made by Ngoako Ramatlhodi, former mineral resources minister.

AmaBhungane reported on Tuesday morning that Ramatlhodi had alleged that Molefe and Eskom chairperson Ben Ngubane pressured him to suspend Glencore’s Optimum mining licences. Ramatlhodi alleged they were attempting to help the Gupta family take over Glencore’s coal mine.

The controversial move to reappoint the former MP Molefe, who held a role in the backbenchers for 12 weeks, caused an uproar from the DA and his own party the ANC.

On Friday, the ANC released a statement condemning Molefe’s reinstatement, saying the decision by the board of directors at Eskom to reinstate Molefe was “reckless”.

The DA filed papers at the high court in Pretoria on Monday to prevent Molefe’s appointment. MP Natasha Mazzone said that it was the “first step to prevent him doing more harm to Eskom, and further entrenching the Gupta’s foothold”.

On Tuesday, the DA requested a parliamentary inquiry into Eskom.

“We demand that this matter receives the utmost urgency and is taken with full seriousness by Parliament, and this requires a full-scale parliamentary inquiry into Eskom, including the new ‘Ramatlhodi allegations’, as soon as possible,” said Mazzone.

She said it was “appalling” that Molefe was “allegedly prepared to put the jobs and livelihoods of 35 000 Glencore employees at risk.”

After the Public Protector’s report into state capture was released last year, Molefe left Eskom under a cloud.

Read: Brian Molefe quits ‘in the interests of Eskom and the public’

Molefe was then, again controversially, appointed to Parliament on February 23.

He returned to Eskom on Monday May 15.

As for the amaBhungane report, ANC National Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa told City Press the only information the ANC received were reports from the media. Kodwa said the ANC had not spoken with Ramatlhodi regarding his allegations and declined to comment about the DA’s request for a parliamentary inquiry into Eskom.

The Economic Freedom Fighters said Ramatlhodi’s “confession” was “yet another confirmation of the state capture by the Gupta family”.

Meanwhile, Ngubane spoke at the African Utility Week conference in Cape Town on Tuesday.

News24 reported that Ngubane said Ramatlhodi’s claims were “preposterous”.– Additional reporting News24

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