Calm, confident, with moments to grin and giggle, former Eskom boss Brian Molefe yesterday returned to the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture, where he continued to take swipes at
President Cyril Ramaphosa for the role he played as chair of Switzerland-owned Optimum Coal
Mine (OCM) – contracted to supply coal to the power utility.
Testifying before Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, Molefe reiterated that Ramaphosa’s political clout in the ANC was used by OCM as leverage in its dealings with Eskom, which included
tough negotiations on the coal supply contract (CSA).
Guns blazing, Molefe took umbrage at commission evidence leader advocate Pule Seleka, for not mentioning claims he made during his earlier testimony about Ramaphosa’s role – seemingly brushing off allegations he made during a recap.
“I hope that it is not being swept under the carpet,” said Molefe, who was reassured by Zondo that every testimony made by witnesses was recorded.
Molefe previously told Zondo that the Glencore-owned OCM sold shares to Ramaphosa – a strategy
to get him negotiate a higher price in its CSA with Eskom.
Ramaphosa, who was OCM chair until he became deputy president in May 2014, was at the helm of the company when OCM supplied coal to Eskom’s Hendrina power station – priced from R142 to R442 per ton.
In terms of OCM shareholding, Glencore-owned Purito BV had 67.58% shares and Ramaphosa’s
Lexshell 849 had 9.64%.
Zondo heard how, in 2013, OCM issued a hardship notice and initiated a hardship claim against
Eskom, despite the power utility experiencing its own challenges.
The hearings continue.