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Patrice Motsepe: 'We can't just cancel our contracts with govt'

Patrice Motsepe has rejected claims that he’ll benefit from his brother-in-law President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent decision to unbundle Eskom.

Patrice Motsepe. Picture: GovernmentZA/Flickr

SANDTON - Billionaire Patrice Motsepe says his company cannot cancel the contracts it has with government due to legal obligations.

Motsepe has rejected claims that he’ll benefit from his brother-in-law President Cyril Ramaphosa’s recent decision to unbundle Eskom.

He’s also given clarity on the contacts he has with the Energy Department headed by his other brother in law Minister Jeff Radebe.

Motsepe said when the agreements between his company African Rainbow Energy and Power and the Energy Department were entered into, Rampahosa was not yet president while Radebe was not energy minister.

“When these agreements were concluded, the current position was not anticipated.”

He said while his company’s relationship with government is legal and above board, he concedes the perceptions of favouritism by South Africans are justified.

“Even if I didn’t have these relatives in government, I have a fundamental duty and obligation not only to be transparent but also ethical and accountable.”

Motsepe says he’s never supported the privatisation of Eskom and will not be part of the sale or disposal of its assets.

African Rainbow Energy and Power said the relationship between its CEO and government puts a greater onus on it to strengthen governance and rules within the company.

The company's CEO Brian Dames also said their projects with government are purely business at arm’s length.

“This is about our duty as businesses and leaders given our value system to be absolutely transparent and accountable.”

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)