FORMER Eskom CEO Brian Molefe claimed Glencore used its proximity to President Cyril Ramaphosa to extort money from the power utility.

He told the Zondo Commission yesterday that Ramaphosa, who was deputy president at the time, was a shareholder at the mine. He said Glencore, which owned OCM, wanted to increase the coal price from R150 to R400 per ton. “What OCM was putting on the table was preposterous and illegal because we had an existing agreement they would run until 2018,” he said.

Molefe said the total amount Glencore tried to extort was R8 billion.

He said they did this as they felt they had a good relationship with Ramaphosa. He said he mentioned this when he appeared before the inquiry in January.

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“I’m saying this now because while we are recapping, it’s not mentioned. I now hope it is not swept under the carpet and is forgotten conveniently,” he said.

Commission chairman Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said those who are implicated have to be notified so they could respond. He said nothing was being swept under the carpet.

Molefe said when he refused to budge, OCM threatened they’d stop selling coal to Eskom, which would lead to power shortages.

“Selling the mine to the Guptas was a masterstroke. They were so angry and they were going to start a campaign to taint us as Gupta people. There was a media campaign to rubbish us as Gupta people,” he said.

He said this was done because he refused to be bullied and manipulated.

Molefe is alleged to have played a role in the R1,6 billion which was paid to Gupta company Tegeta in December 2015 and a prepayment of R659 million in April 2016.

He claimed government has not done enough to empower black people.

“The legislative framework has allowed a few white companies to exploit our coal.”