Thuli Madonsela’s report has surely struck a nerve in the State’s power utility, Ekom as utility boss, Brian Molefe reacts over implications in the matter.
The situation at Eskom’s Sunninghill headquarters on Thursday turned out hot as the utility’s chief executive, Brian Molefe broke down in tears after a lengthy talk about former public protector’s state Capture report which had him implicated.
The emotional chief broke down in tears at Eskom’s results presentation as he explained his movements in Saxonwold following the damning report into state capture.
He had to go backstage to compose himself before returning to the podium to continue with the results presentation of Eskom’s financial results.
Molefe uncontrollably continued to wipe off tears from his face with his handkerchief as he tries to gain balance before the media present.
He slammed Madonsela for not giving him time to respond to allegations of corruption against him and Eskom.
“We gave the public protector 132 files in boxes, of the prepayments to Tegeta and other companies we have done in the past. Then we never heard from her again,” said Molefe as he pointed out that this was not unfair on him as the case painted him as corrupt without affording him the opportunity to respond.
“We will take this report for a judicial review and will submit ourselves to the judicial commission,” he said.
Explaining how Eskom ended up having contracts with the Gupta-owned Tegeta company as was mentioned in the report, Molefe went on to say he would not agree that the board should resign over this matter.
“I take the responsibility,” he said,
“I don’t think the minister should resign,” he said, referring to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. “I also don’t think that the president should resign over this matter. I will resign,” he added as he moved down the podium.
Angered by these, Eskom chairperson Dr. Ben Ngubane rose up to further slam advocate Thuli saying she did not call the board on the matter.
“She committed to doing that, but she never did,” said Ngubane.
“No one should be allowed to tear down this country on the basis of speculation,” he said. as he warned that the company must not lose a man like Brian because it would be a disaster to both the company and South Africans.
“If we lose Brian‚ she [Thuli Madonsela] should take the responsibility,” he said.
“Eskom” was mentioned 829 times in the 355 pages of the state Capture report showing a cellphone records proving that Molefe and Ajay Gupta exchanged 58 calls in eight months between 2015 and 2016.
Brian Molefe was also identified in telephonic contact with Nazeem Howa — a director at Tegeta and until recently the CEO of Gupta-owned company Oakbay Investments — four times in a single day‚ August 24 2015.
The timing of the phone calls is significant as it dovetails with a controversial purchase by the Gupta family of Optimum coal mine.