Home South African Brian Molefe not off the hook yet, says Corruption Watch

Brian Molefe not off the hook yet, says Corruption Watch

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Corruption Watch has said that its withdrawal of the case against former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe was not an exoneration but a result of poor formulation of the charges as they preceded the final report of Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s state capture commission.

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe is still due before the Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, on October 11 along with former Transnet executives. Picture: Itumeleng English, Independent Newspapers

CORRUPTION Watch has said that its withdrawal of the case against former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe was not an exoneration but a result of poor formulation of the charges as they preceded the final report of Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s state capture commission.

This comes after the Gauteng High Court, Pretoria, on Friday handed down Corruption Watch’s formal notice of withdrawal of the case against Molefe, which was done “by agreement between the parties” with each party to bear their own costs.

Corruption Watch executive director Karam Singh said on Saturday that the anti-corruption organisation would still go public with details on the proceedings.

Singh said they would explain that there were challenges sustaining the application against Molefe based on the way it was formulated since it was drafted prior to the Zondo Commission’s report.

“This does not mean Mr Molefe is exonerated. The Zondo Commission recommended further investigations around his conduct as Eskom CEO, and he has been indicted on Transnet and faces charges,” Singh said.

“Other matters have been referred to the Companies And Intellectual Property Commission to have court proceedings instituted against the former directors at various state-owned enterprises, including Eskom.”

In 2019, Corruption Watch’s founding executive director, David Lewis, applied to have former Eskom directors declared delinquent so that they cannot hold a directorship in a private company ever again, and for seven years in a state-owned company, in terms of section 162(5)(c) of the Companies Act.

Corruption Watch argued that these former directors abused their positions in order to benefit other entities and individuals rather than the interests of Eskom and, by necessary extension, the people of South Africa.

These included Molefe, former Eskom chairperson Zethembe Khoza, former Eskom chief financial officer Anoj Singh, former Eskom board members Mark Vivian Pamensky and Venete Jarlene Klein, former minister of public enterprises Lynne Brown, and Eskom as a company.

Corruption Watch had upheld then that lack of proper oversight and poor management resulted in the downgrading of Eskom debt and contributed to the downgrading of South Africa’s sovereign credit rating.

This was despite the removal in 2017 of Brown as minister, and several Eskom board directors.

Molefe is still due before the Gauteng High Court, Johannesburg, on October 11, along with Singh and former Transnet executives including Siyabonga Gama, Garry Pita, Phetolo Ramosebudi, as well as Regiments Capital directors Niven Pillay and Litha Nyhonyha.

Also in the dock are Trillian Asset Management director Daniel Roy (Novum Asset Management) and Albatime owner Kuben Moodley, on charges of contravention of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA), fraud, corruption, and money laundering.

This stems from the locomotives transaction advisory tender awarded to the McKinsey-led consortium in 2012, resulting in the procurement of 1,064 locomotives valued at over R54 billion.

Regiments Capital was allegedly irregularly brought into the contract and benefited from Transnet’s irregular appointment, increasing the contract’s value and scope to over R305 million.

Their services included sourcing loans from the China Development Bank and the club loan amounting to $2.5bn, equivalent to R30bn at the time, on behalf of Transnet.

Additionally, the accused also face charges related to the R93.4m payment to Trillian Asset Management in 2015.

– BUSINESS REPORT

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