Among the highest profile names unveiled in former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report was that of Eskom chief Brian Molefe.
It was like finding out that the school’s most admired pupil, academically able, superbly gifted as a sportsman and an automatic choice as head boy, had been caught smoking dope behind the change rooms.
The report revealed Molefe’s numerous calls between August 2, 2015 and March 22 to Ajay Gupta, scion of the family at the very heart of Madonsela’s probe into outside agencies unduly influencing governmental decisions into the awarding of tenders and the appointment of Cabinet ministers.
But yesterday the seemingly Teflon-coated Molefe, who had been hailed in some quarters as the potential saviour of the country’s energy utility from the incipient financial doom which hung ominously over the state-owned entity, finally cracked, breaking down in tears at Eskom’s headquarters, north of Johannesburg.
Molefe, who cracked down on the hugely expensive use of diesel as a generating medium and managed to keep the lights on, had stood up attempting to hold back the inevitable flood of fallout of being linked to the Gupta-owned Tegeta Exploration Resources – the entity which benefitted directly from a prepayment for the delivery of coal to keep the power stations fired up in the Hendrina area.
During his speech, Molefe had started out projecting a very human side, referring to the stress his children would inevitably face. It was very much the voice of a father concerned for his loved ones.
But while Molefe has been proactive about his part in the sorry saga, one thing we must not lose sight of as further chapters inevitably unfold on a recommended judicial commission of inquiry, is that Madonsela’s report is not directly aimed at Molefe, but at the web of lies and deceit inherent in state capture.