WRAP | The person who betrayed me is the public protector, says Brian Molefe

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08 March 18:05

The commission adjourns for the day to all Molefe to study some of the documents relating to his evidence. He says the documents were given to him by the commission's legal team late last night. 

08 March 17:38

Regiments had replaced Letsema, an initial supplier development partner which had to withdraw from the contract due to a conflict of interest.

Molefe sanctioned the appointment of Regiments and the company was not subjected to the standard verification process.

Molefe insisted that there must be a memorandum explaining why the verification process was not conducted.

"When we said Letsema must be replaced, we should have talked about a process that should be followed," Molefe conceded. 

08 March 17:27

Regiments were appointed as a supplier development supplier partner of McKinsey in the locomotives contract.

Advocate Myburgh brings Molefe back to a forensic report which suggests that the appointment of Regiments may have been improper as the Gupta-linked company was not part of the McKinsey consortium when it initially tendered for the contract. 

Regiments appointment is said to be "not transparent".

08 March 16:37

Advocate Myburgh now moves to the issuing of a Request for Proposal by Transnet in 2012 for the acquisition of locomotives.  

A McKinsey consortium were later appointed to offer advisory services in the procurement process of  the1064 locomotives.

08 March 16:10

The commission adjourns for a ten-minute break.

08 March 16:04

Molefe says he would rather wait for the courts to make a pronouncement on the Guptas before coming to any conclusions about their business dealings.

Zondo reminds him that he might wait for a very long time as the family has skipped the country.

"Mr Molefe, you may wait forever because they have left the country."

08 March 15:54

Advocate Myburgh asks Molefe if he feels somehow betrayed by the Guptas, assuming that they were involved in large-scale money laundering.

"The person who betrayed me is the public protector," Molefe responds.

Myburgh then asks him again if he does not feel betrayed by the controversial business family.

"Yes," says Molefe.

08 March 15:20

Advocate Myburgh asks Molefe if there was a change of pattern in the number of visits to the Gupta home when he moved over to Eskom.

"I don't think there was a discernable pattern. I was not keeping tabs on the number of times."

Molefe objects to being "patronised" by Advocate Myburgh after he tells him that he is a "smart man" for him not to remember the number of interactions he had with the Guptas.

Myburgh apologises for coming off as patronising, says it was not his intention.

Brian Molefe: Nothing wrong with my visits to Gupta home

08 March 15:10

While some of his visits to the Gupta home were social visits, Molefe says he also went to their home in Saxonwold to discuss business, particularly their vision of establishing a black-owned commercial bank.

The Gutpas were keen on helping Molefe set-up a black-owned bank.

Advocate Myburgh reminds Molefe that the public protector's State of Capture report stated that he visited the Gupta compound 19-times between August and November 2015.

Molefe does not want to comment on the public protector report, which he calls "erroneous".

08 March 15:02

Molefe has previously told the commission that he knew the Gupta brothers very well, especially Ajay.

Advocate Myburgh asks him if he could say how many times he visited their home.

"Numerous times...I don't know, it was 7-9 years ago," he says.

"It was sporadic, I can't attach a number of times....maybe once a month."

08 March 14:52

In October 2020, Bester, a former managing director of Rail for Hatch gave evidence at the State Capture that he met with Essa and Anoj Singh, a former Transnet CFO to discuss potential business with Transnet.

It was during that meeting in 2014 that Molefe's name was thrown around.

Advocate Myburgh asked if it did now worry him that the people who were using his name were engaging in money laundering using the business he was in charge of, which was Transnet.

08 March 14:39

Zondo says he finds Molefe's evidence that he was not concerned that his name was being used to "achieve criminality" as concerning, adding that he would be concerned if someone used his name to advance criminality.

"I was not part of the deal, that is why it did not worry me," said Molefe.

08 March 14:31

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo puts it to Molefe that the fact that he says he does not know Salim Essa, the man who went around talking about his appointment as future Eskom CEO should have worried him. 

"I am not good with conspiracy theories," Molefe responds.

"There are things to worry about and this was not one of them."

08 March 14:24

Advocate Myburgh: Is it a coincidence that your appointment as Transnet CEO happened as predicted.

Molefe responds: "I don't know what it is. I cannot comment on it."

He says he does not know Salim Essa, the business associate of the Guptas, who boasted to Henk Bester back in 2014 that Molefe would become CEO of Eskom, way before his appointment was made public.

08 March 13:07

The commission adjourns for lunch and will resume at 14:10. 

08 March 13:06

Molefe tells Advocate Myburgh that he is "not a corruption detection machine."

08 March 13:03

Molefe explains that he was overseas when the article was published. He says he received a text message from a journalist from the publication enquiring about his impending appointment.  

08 March 13:00

Evidence leader Advocate Anton Myburgh kicks-off by drawing Molefe's attention to a New Age newspaper's report that Molefe was tippled to become the new CEO of Transnet. The report was published on 7 December 2010, almost a month before his appointment. The now defunct newspaper was part of the Gupta family business empire. 

"I did not know anything about this," he says about the newspaper article. 

08 March 12:40

Molefe starts delivering evidence. His evidence will focus on Transnet's contracts with McKinsey and Regiments as well as the acquisition of 1064 locomotives.

08 March 10:13

The inquiry is set to begin with the cross-examination of an unnamed witness by lawyers representing former Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba. 

Fin24 will be shelving this live update for the moment. 

08 March 10:11

It seems that Molefe will not be testifying this morning, at least not yet. 

08 March 09:26

Molefe is one of the former executives that Transnet in January 2019 served with summons in a bid to recoup some of the money spent on the locomotives contract.

08 March 09:26

Transnet's former CEO Brian Molefe is set to give evidence before the state capture inquiry on Monday. 

Molefe was Transnet CEO from February 2011 until his secondment to Eskom in April 2015.

Under Molefe's leadership, Transnet in 2012 embarked on the controversial procurement process of for 1 064 locomotives.

The contract ballooned from R38.6 billion in 2013 to R54.5 billion. 

The issuing of the contract has been plagued by allegations of kickbacks and financial irregularities, and Transnet has launched a legal bid to have it declared unlawful.

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