Molefe hits out on cellphone records, clarifies shebeen statement | Fin24

Molefe hits out on cellphone records, clarifies shebeen statement

Nov 04 2016 13:06
Carin Smith

Cape Town - Eskom CEO Brian Molefe denied on Friday that he ever said he frequented a shebeen in Saxonwold.

During an Eskom media briefing on allegations in the public protector's report on state capture, Molefe was asked about the issue of the shebeen he referred to during the Eskom interim results briefing on Thursday.

Former public protector Thuli Madonsela's report mentioned that Molefe's cellphone records show he was in Saxonwold on a number of occasions, suggesting he may have been having meetings with the controversial Gupta family at their residence.

As part of the report, cellphone evidence revealed that Molefe and Ajay Gupta, the eldest of three Gupta brothers, made 58 telephone calls to one another between August 2015 and March 2016.

The report further details phone calls between Molefe and Ronica Ragavan, a long-time Gupta associate who was recently appointed acting CEO of Oakbay Investments, the family's main holding company.

Moreover, cellphone tracking records obtained by Madonsela's investigators indicate that Molefe was at or near the Guptas' Saxonwold residence 19 times between August 5 and November 17 2015.

READ: Tearful Molefe slams public protector’s Saxonwold cellphone evidence

"I said yesterday that when I arrived at work I told someone that the public protector claims I was in Saxonwold 14 times. My colleague said he goes to Saxonwold every Friday," said Molefe.

"I did not say I went there. My colleague said there is a place in Saxonwold that he goes to on Fridays and Saturdays. I did not say I went there to drink."

Molefe was then asked by a member of the media whether, if he then did not go to the shebeen, he went to visit the Guptas.

"Was it appropriate what you discussed with the Guptas? Are we to believe that at all of those occasions you discussed other things than Eskom business with the Guptas?" Molefe was asked.


Molefe repeatedly emphasised at Friday's briefing that it is a problem for him that the public protector did not interview him on any issues.

"I want to take legal advice and will respond at the appropriate time about the issues.

"Who gave her the records of my cellphone?

"I would have asked for an opportunity to interview the people who gave her the cellphone records. I am taking legal advice. Her failure to ask me the questions has caused damage to me as a person," said Molefe, thus declining to answer the questions at this point.

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