Explosive new accusations dog Molefe's Eskom return
Publish date: 18 May 2017
Issue Number: 116
Diary: Legalbrief Forensic
The fallout from Brian Molefe’s move back to Eskom continues, with explosive new details emerging from an investigation by the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism into the Gupta family allegedly using political influence to bag the prized Optimum Coal mine in late 2015, writes Legalbrief. He’s only been back on the job for two days, but, says a Bloomberg report, the newly reinstated head of SA’s power utility has been accused of attempting to influence a former minister, reversed plans to close power plants that his predecessor claimed weren’t needed, and set the country’s ruling party against its president. ‘Politically and ethically the reinstatement stinks to high heaven,’ Aubrey Matshiqi, a political analyst, said. ‘It seems to me that power has become so dispersed – that some power lies in the state, some power lies in the government, some power lies in powerful economic actors, some power lies in powerful families.’ The report says Molefe’s reinstatement has exposed widening rifts within the ANC and between some party leaders and Zuma’s government. It’s revived scrutiny of the influence wielded by the Guptas, who are in business with the President’s son, Duduzane, and means investors must digest yet another surprise appointment, less than two months after Zuma replaced Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan in a sweeping late-night cabinet overhaul.