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Molefe denies being part of Eskom decision to pre-pay Optimum R1.68bn for coal

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe said that he did not know about the letter that was written in his absence or the board decision to make a pre-payment.

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe appears at the state capture inquiry on 3 March 2021. Picture: SABC/YouTube.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe said that he was not part of the decision to make a R1.68 billion pre-payment to the Optimum coal mine to secure coal supply because he was in hospital undergoing an operation.

Instead, Molefe told the state capture inquiry that he and Matshela Koko decided to inform the Department of Mineral Resources about the looming coal crisis, as was normal practice, as well as possible solutions.

But he said that he did not know about the letter that was written in his absence or the board decision to make a pre-payment.

"He says: 'Mr Molefe and I decided we needed to keep the DME up to date on the developments that had occurred and to request its assistance by the means it had to facilitate a resolution of the impasse that quite clearly still existed despite the potential sale to Oakbay/Tegeta.'"

Evidence leader Advocate Pule Seleka read Koko's affidavit but Molefe said that while he agreed with Koko to inform the department that Optimum coal mine was facing difficulty, he did not know what was decided to resolve the issue because he was in hospital.

"Mr Seleka, I was not there, I do not know and I cannot comment."

To which Seleka responded: "Are you saying to the chair you didn't have any specific request in mind?"

"No," Molefe replied.

But Molefe said that the board undertook the situation and made the right decision.

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