Former Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi has revealed shocking events in the period leading up to his dismissal. He says Eskom’s CEO Brian Molefe and Chairperson Ben Ngubane asked him to suspend Glencore’s mining licences. Ramatlodi says the request, which was made in 2015, was an effort to put pressure on the commodities firm to sell a coal mine. In the same year, Glencore placed Optimum Coal Mine under protection from creditors. It later sold it to Tegeta Exploration and Resources, a company controlled by the Gupta brothers.
Natasha Mazzone MP
DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises
The damning allegations by the former Minister of Mineral Resources, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, that Eskom’s then CEO Brian Molefe and Chairperson Ben Ngubane tried to force him to withdraw Glencore’s Optimum mining licences in a bid to help the Gupta’s takeover Glencore’s coal mines, are astounding and deserve a full scale investigation as part of the Parliamentary inquiry into Eskom which the DA has requested.
The DA has already written to Parliament’s Chair of Chairs, Cederic Frolick, to ask that Parliament’s Public Enterprises committee launch a full-scale parliamentary inquiry into Eskom, without delay.
I have this morning written to Mr Frolick to urge that these most recent “Ramatlhodi allegations” also be investigated in the course of the inquiry and that Mr Frolick urgently provides a timeline for the inquiry.
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.
With each passing day, there are more and more allegations that Eskom, under Brian Molefe, has been looted for the benefit of one family, who are apparently at the heart of a project, headed by President Jacob Zuma, to capture our country for their own self-enrichment. This is also revealed in the state capture report.
That Brian Molefe was allegedly prepared to put the jobs and livelihoods of approximately 35 000 Glencore employees at risk, to help the Gupta’s essentially hi-jack Glencore’s mines, is simply appalling.
This must not be allowed to stand. Parliament must investigate and must expose the rot within Eskom, calculated to benefit the Gupta’s at public expense.
The fact that the Minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, has seen fit to reappoint the man at the centre of so many damning allegations, including the Public Protector’s ‘State of Capture’ report, as the head of Eskom has been widely rejected by South Africa and now Parliament must hear the voices of these outraged South Africans.
Our court action, filed yesterday against Mr Molefe, is the first step to prevent him doing further harm to Eskom, and further entrenching the Gupta’s foothold, but Parliament must also exercise its oversight mandate to its fullest extent.
The South African public deserve to know exactly what is going on at Eskom and that there will be consequences for those found to be putting their own narrow interests above those of our country.
A full-scale Parliamentary inquiry will allow for all of Eskom’s dirty dealings to be exposed, and therefore such an inquiry must go ahead urgently.
The ANC has ordered Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown and the Eskom board to rescind Brian Molefe’s return to the power utility as its CEO. “We met with Lynne Brown and all of us present said ‘comrades, that decision must be rescinded’,” ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe told News24 on Tuesday. The party’s top six summoned Brown to Luthuli House on Monday. He said the party warned that the matter was likely
to end up in court.