South Africa: Brian Molefe Deflects - - but Accusations of Gupta Influence Remain

President Cyril Ramaphosa (file photo).
analysis

In his two days at the State Capture Commission, Brian Molefe described himself as an exemplary leader who was maligned for taking on Glencore and Cyril Ramaphosa. He intimated there was no smoking gun over allegations that he benefited his friends, the Guptas, but evidence shows that the Guptas benefited handsomely from his time at Eskom.

Brian Molefe's emotional exit from Eskom after revelations about his cosy relationship with the Gupta family is old news. But when the former Eskom CEO appeared at the State Capture Commission in January and claimed President Cyril Ramaphosa and Glencore collaborated to extort Eskom, it was both shocking and familiar.

The mining giant Glencore is hardly known for its altruism. Ramaphosa's lucrative career in business and his partnerships with large corporates will always raise questions in a country that has been exploited by big business and politicians working in concert.

"Mr Ramaphosa was their bet. The profitability of Optimum was therefore dependent on the pedalling (sic) of political influence," reads Molefe's opening statement to the State Capture Commission when he first appeared earlier in 2021.

Ramaphosa was Glencore's local empowerment partner in 2012 when the group took a controlling stake in Optimum Coal Holdings...

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