Ramaphosa: I endorsed Molefe as Eskom CEO but didn’t know of his Gupta ties

He said he had no clue that Molefe would eventually be linked to state capture and the Gupta family.

President Cyril Ramaphosa appears at the state capture inquiry on 11 August 2021. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa said he was the one who recommended out of favour former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe.

He said he had no clue that Molefe would eventually be linked to state capture and the Gupta family.

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Ramaphosa was giving Eskom-related evidence during his appearance before the state capture commission on Wednesday.

He was asked about his frustrations at not being told about suspensions of four executives at Eskom while he was charged with leading its war room.

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He was also asked about Brian Molefe, who had earlier blamed Ramaphosa for Eskom’s woes.

But Ramaphosa told the commission that he was the one who recommended Molefe, and he had no idea he was close with the Guptas.

“I should say that surprised me because I had never really connected Mr Molefe in that way with the Gupta family. I had no inkling or knowledge or suspicion that there was that linkage or connection.”

Ramaphosa defended the party’s deployment policy despite the risk of recruiting someone incompetent.

“Where the deployment has resulted in people who are incompetent, I will concede that was an error.”

Meanwhile, ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte has supported Ramaphosa's assertion that he was the one who recommended Molefe's appointment as Eskom CEO.

She has told Eyewitness News on the side-lines of the state capture commission that there was no doubt he was a competent man but that none of them knew of his connections elsewhere.

Duarte said Ramaphosa, like her, had always seen him as a competent individual: “I have no doubt in my mind that he was a competent man and that he was connected elsewhere, how would we have known that? We knew him as competent. In fact, he turned Transnet around.”

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