Ramaphosa: Popo Molefe approached ANC top 6 about corruption at Prasa

Ramaphosa was testifying at the state capture commission on Wednesday, talking about problems at Prasa and Eskom among others.

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

JOHANNESBURG/CAPE TOWN - President Cyril Ramaphosa has confirmed that then Prasa chairperson Popo Molefe had approached the African National Congress (ANC) top six expressing concern about irregularities and corruption at the parastatal.

Ramaphosa on Wednesday testified at the state capture commission talking about problems at Prasa and Eskom among others.

Molefe told the commission that he had been concerned about a R3.5 billion locomotive contract with money to be donated to the African National Congress (ANC).

The president was asked about this. He said: “I do recall him mentioning the attacks of the board and him by Mr Montana. I have no immediate recollection of this R79 million donation that was mentioned.”

He said the agencies that dealt with investigations and prosecutions must follow up on allegations as ANC members didn't have that power.

“There must be active follow up through the various structures of the state because the ANC and it’s various official sections do not have the power or capability to do anything about these matters.”

Ramaphosa has denied any involvement in decisions taken by Optimum Coal when the company fell out with Eskom over coal supply.

Ramaphosa is a former shareholder of Optimum.

He’s told the state capture inquiry he had no operational role at the company, that supplied the state-owned power utility with coal worth billions.

Ramaphosa had faced allegations that Glencore aimed to use him to extract money from Eskom through its Optimum coal mine.

Former Eskom CEO Matshela Koko had told the commission Optimum Coal Mine used Ramaphosa’s name to threaten Eskom executives.

Ramaphosa said he had no operational involvement and eventually disposed of his shareholding ahead of his appointment as deputy president.

“In that role, I had no operational involvement in Optimum Holdings or Optimum Mine. I was a nonexecutive chairperson. Following my election as ANC deputy president in December 2012. I initiated a review of my business interest to avoid potential conflict.”

He’s also spoken of his frustration at not being informed about the dismissal of Eskom executives despite heading the war room.

Ramaphosa said he considered resigning as a result of state capture.

WATCH: Ramaphosa: State capture was ‘nicely hidden'

RUNNING THE SO-CALLED WAR ROOM

Ramaphosa said he recalled a turnaround strategy that was presented to him by then-Eskom CEO Tshediso Matona but they weren't presented with the full picture.

He said it was difficult to run a so-called war room to improve the running of the parastatal: “There were always gaps in the information and they always felt that they didn’t get as much information as they wanted.”

Ramaphosa was also asked about information contained in an affidavit by former Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown regarding inaccurate information.

He said while heading the war room, too many people had input and even the ANC deployment committee wasn't always called on regarding appointments to the Eskom board.

“We are dealing here with a period where a lot of things were happening without a line of sight of a number of people. So, that is the type of situation we are dealing with.”

There have been questions about the input of the Gupta brothers in operations at Eskom.

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