Eskom's Molefe: I didn't get opportunity to explain Tegeta deal
The state capture report is scathing of Eskom’s conduct, saying it made certain deals with Tegeta to put the Optimum coal mine out of business.
JOHANNESBURG – Eskom Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brian Molefe has strongly defended the state utility and his actions when making a deal with the Gupta-owned company Tegeta and trivialising the cellphone calls and his visits to the Gupta home, which were detailed in the State of Capture report.
During an interim results briefing at Megawatt Park yesterday, Molefe stated that the allegations leveled against him were baseless.
The former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report, which was released on Wednesday, is scathing of the conduct of Eskom, saying the state utility made certain deals with Tegeta to put the Optimum coal mine out of business.
At first, Molefe made light of the evidence contained in the State of Capture report about cellphone calls between him and the Guptas and that he was “placed” at their residence in Saxonwold.
“I walked into the office and I said to Chose (Choeu): ‘The Public Protector says I was in Saxonwold 14 times'. Chose says that it’s nothing. He says there’s a shebeen there.”
But later Eskom’s CEO emphasized that he wasn’t given an opportunity to explain the so-called controversial deal made with Tegeta.
“What pains me most is that I didn’t get an opportunity to explain what I am saying now to Advocate Thuli Madonsela.”
Molefe says the deal struck with Tegeta, in order for the utility to receive coal, was at a time when they were trying to avoid load shedding.
“The pre-payment debt is settled; I don’t understand what the Public Protector means by wasteful expenditure. We did a prepayment deal because [it] was done with other companies in the past."
He was reduced to tears when he explained that he wasn’t given a chance to speak to Thuli Madonsela about these allegations.
Eskom’s CEO maintains that the allegations are baseless and that the utility is doing well financially. He adds that Eskom is finally in a situation with surplus electricity supply.
Chairman Baldwin Ngubane also jumped to his defense saying that if they lose Molefe, Madonsela will be to blame.
Another special briefing is due to be held this morning to deal with more aspects of the report.
Read the full State of Capture report below:
(Edited by Masechaba Sefularo)