Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe has fingered President Cyril Ramaphosa for having been the source of problems being faced by the state owned power utility.
Molefe alleges that the appointment of Ramaphosa as the chairperson of government’s Eskom war room when he was still a shareholder at Glencore, an Eskom contractor, was a conflict of interests.
Testifying at the state capture inquiry, Molefe also claimed Ramaphosa was effectively the “de facto chairperson” of Eskom when he was leading the war room.
He pointed out that Eskom management was presenting reports to the war room instead of the Eskom board.
“When I arrived at Eskom, a de facto board had been established outside the company in the form of a war room in the presidency,” he said.
“Management had to report to this war room every Friday at 7am so the biggest activity taking place at Eskom was reporting to the war room. From Wednesday we must start preparing for the war room report to make sure they are ready by 7am on Friday. It was an untenable situation.
“What is even more strange is that members of the legitimate and legal board of Eskom were not seeing those war room reports. It gets better because the [then] deputy president, Cyril Ramaphosa, was chairperson of the war room,” he said.
Molefe said “He was, in fact, the de facto chairperson of Eskom and de facto chairperson of a de facto board that was outside the company,” but what made the situation worse was that Ramaphosa was also chairperson of Glencore, which wanted R8bn “unjustly transferred” to it by Eskom.
“When the Glencore deal was done in 2012 and he bought shares, he was made chairperson. In 2014 he became deputy president of the country and chairperson of the war room.
“One would have expected that, as corporate governance requires, there must be a cooling off period. He is a person who has been saying we must renegotiate effectively a R8bn move and becomes the de facto chairperson of Eskom” sais Molefe in his testimony.