Ramatlhodi claims put Zuma in tough spot - analysts

Political analysts say Ngoako Ramatlhodi’s allegations that he was pressed to blackmail Glencore may make it difficult for President Zuma to refuse 'State of the Capture' report inquiry.

FILE: President Jacob Zuma. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Political analysts say that former Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi’s allegations that he was pressed to blackmail resources giant Glencore may make it difficult for President Jacob Zuma to refuse an inquiry into the State of the Capture report.

In an AmaBhungane exclusive on Eyewitness News, Ramatlhodi reveals that Eskom CEO Brian Molefe and chairperson Ben Ngubane asked him to suspend Glencore’s mining licences to ensure that a Gupta-owned company could take control of the Optimum coal mine.

Molefe, who resigned as the utility’s CEO last year following allegations of his connection to the Guptas in the Public Protector's report, has now been reinstated as CEO.

Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni says Ramatlhodi’s claims are perhaps the most serious allegations that have emerged about a relationship between Molefe and the Guptas.

“And how Cabinet reshuffles do take place… that is going to be an untenable situation for the president (Jacob Zuma) to say an inquiry, which was recommended by the Public Protector, should not take place.”

Political commentator Sipho Seepe says this may also be a situation where a disgruntled former minister is coming forward.

“People who are now beginning to throw mud or beginning to expose some issues that they were unhappy with, but these are people who do so after they’ve left office.”

Meanwhile, Eskom has vehemently rejected Ramatlhodi’s allegations and raised concerns about why the claims were made now.

Read the full investigative report by amaBhungane here.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)