At the presentation of Eskom’s financial results today, Chief Executive Officer Brian Molefe responded to allegations made in former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State Capture report about his relationship with the Gupta family.
According to the report, 58 calls had been documented between Mr Molefe and Ajay Gupta, the eldest of the Gupta brothers, between August 2015 and March 2016. (p. 301)
Among the disclosures in the report was a total amount including VAT of R 110,218,387.89 paid by Eskom to Tegeta Exploration and Resources, a Gupta owned company, credit notes issued to the value of R 444,647,714.46. (p258)
The report then notes that: “… The discount given is somewhat misleading, both Eskom and Tegeta were aware that Tegeta was sourcing coal from OCM (Optimum Coal Mine) at the rate of 18.68/GJ. Therefore, Tegeta was not actually giving any material discount as they were still charging Eskom 19.69/GJ.”
Then on page 277: “For the period 29 January 2016 and 13 April, Eskom paid Tegeta and amount of R 1,161,953,248.41. An additional R 47,424,919.16 was paid on 26 April 2016.”
“Of the R 1,161,953,248.41 paid by ESKOM, at least R 910,000,000.00 was diverted by Tegeta to fund forty-two percent (42%) of the purchase price (R2.15 billion) to acquire OCH (Optimum Coal Holdings). All payments with the exception of the payment made on 26 April 2016, were made prior to 14 April 2016, the date on which Tegeta settled their portion of the purchase price.”
Molefe said at the results presentation in Johannesburg on Thursday that Eskom had given Madonsela about 130 files in thirteen boxes and had agreed on a date to meet but the former public protector cancelled the meeting.
“My gripe with the situation is that the public protector never called me and the CFO to give our reasons of the events,” he said. “I thought the Constitution gives us the right to be heard. She never gave me that chance.”
Eskom Chairperson, Ben Ngubane expressed the company’s support for Molefe. “We commend the public protector on the release of the report but the public protector adopted an unduly believing mind that led her to make speculative observations against Eskom,” he said.
Eskom will hold a media briefing tomorrow.