Damning allegations against Molefe and Ngubane's involvement in Optimum "heist"

AmaBhungani has revealed new evidence that Eskom CEO Brian Molefe and chair Ben Ngubane allegedly demanded that former Mining Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi shutdown all Glencore’s mining operations in South Africa, pending the payment of a R2.17-billion penalty, effectively blackmailing the mining giant.

The report explains in detail how weeks before his axing, Ramatlhodi was called into a meeting with the Eksom duo at the time the Gupta family were looking at buying Optimum, the coal mine that supplies Eskom’s Hendrina power station.

In an interview with amaBhungane, Ramatlhodi says : "They insisted that I must suspend all the Glencore mining licences pending the payment of the R2-billion… You must remember that the country was undergoing load-shedding at that time. I said to them: how many mines do these people have supplying Eskom? How many more outages are we going to have?"

Ramatlhodi says he refused to shut the mines when Ngubane said that he would have to report on their meeting to President Jacob Zuma.

On September 2, 2015, Zuma arrived in China for a commemoration of victory over the Nazis in World War II. There he was due to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ramatlhodi said he was removed as mines minister shortly after Zuma’s return.

According to amaBhungane journalist Sam Sole, the fresh allegations add to mounting suggestions that the Guptas’ R2-billion buyout of Optimum should rank among South Africa’s most audacious business hijackings.

We forget that a lot of what was in the public protector's report was about this battle of the Gupta's to gain control of the Optimum coal mine and what we did was look at Brian Molefe and Ben Ngubani's role on that battle an dhow the effectively paved the way for the Gupta's to take over by helping to squeeze the big company that owned Optimum at that time, Glencore.

Sam Sole, Managing partner and investigative journalist at amaBhungane

We phoned up Ramatlhodi who was the mine's minister at the time because there was some very strategic decisions that happened around that particular time in this battle and Ramatlhodi was the minster, and then sort of three weeks after a particular point had been reached he was fired.

Sam Sole, Managing partner and investigative journalist at amaBhungane

He didn't comply. He said he stood firm.

Sam Sole, Managing partner and investigative journalist at amaBhungane

Click here to hear more revelations...


Recommended

by NEWSROOM AI
Read More
'Madiba was a Pan-African leader, a man of his time'

'Madiba was a Pan-African leader, a man of his time'

Just a day before Madiba's birthday Obenewa Amponsah looks at his life and his connections within the African continent.

Panasonic Cape Town HQ big boost to Western Cape's economy  - Wesgro

Panasonic Cape Town HQ big boost to Western Cape's economy - Wesgro

Panasonic South Africa launched its headquarters in Century City, Cape Town, last week.

DA files urgent court papers to have Molefe's re-appointment squashed

DA files urgent court papers to have Molefe's re-appointment squashed

The DA says its lodging papers at the High Court in Pretoria on Monday to interdict Brian Molefe's reinstatement as Eskom's CEO.

Molefe apparently slipped in to Megawatt Park at crack of dawn

Molefe apparently slipped in to Megawatt Park at crack of dawn

Brian Molefe started with a bang at Eskom after he stealthily dodged protesters who have called into question his reinstatement.

Eskom denies silencing research institutions on nuclear

Eskom denies silencing research institutions on nuclear

Micah Reddy, Investigator at amaBhungane says Eskom, the CSIR and CRSES have all denied that Eskom has gagged the research units.

SA law governing surveillance falls short, argues amaBhungane

SA law governing surveillance falls short, argues amaBhungane

amaBhungane says the Rica Act is unconstitutional because those being monitored by government aren't told of interception warrant.

Popular articles
Vila Kasi TV station leaves employees out in the cold with no pay

Vila Kasi TV station leaves employees out in the cold with no pay

Employees of the start-up media house are angered for not receiving salaries as promised at the end of June.

Nhlanhla Nene asks trade unions for ideas on how to fund wage increase demands

Nhlanhla Nene asks trade unions for ideas on how to fund wage increase demands

Nene asked unions representing Eskom workers to provide ideas to fund wage increases after negotiations with Eskom deadlocked.

How Steinhoff shares doubled in just five days

How Steinhoff shares doubled in just five days

Founder of Herenya Capital Advisors, Petri Redelinghuys, explains how the embattled Steinhoff managed to double its share price in 5 days

Parents no longer have to travel with children's birth certificates

Parents no longer have to travel with children's birth certificates

The new Home Affairs upgrades to the system include printing parents details at the back of the child's passport.

SA-made Rolkem cake decoration products may not be safe to eat

SA-made Rolkem cake decoration products may not be safe to eat

The UK’s Food Standards Agency issued an advisory, claiming that Rolkem failed to confirm that their ingredients were safe to eat.

Criminals targeting homes with aluminium windows, warns neighborhood watch

Criminals targeting homes with aluminium windows, warns neighborhood watch

The Panorama, Welgelegen and Plattekloof Neighbourhood Watch has identified a new house break-in trend.

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

These are the emergency numbers you should have on your cellphone and this is what you must understand about how they work.