Cyril Ramaphosa says he, not Zuma, suggested Brian Molefe for Eskom CEO job. President Cyril Ramaphosa says he was the one who recommended Brian Molefe to former president Jacob Zuma to appoint him as Eskom’s CEO in 2015.
“One of the things I then did when I saw president Zuma was to say, ‘let us appoint Brian Molefe as the CEO of Eskom [and] close the war room’. And he has proven himself to be quite an effective CEO and let’s give him the responsibility,” Ramaphosa said.
The president was responding to a question from the Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture about the abrupt suspension of Eskom’s five executives in March 2015.
The executives included the Eskom’s then CEO Tshediso Matona, group capital executive Dan Marokane, finance director Tsholofelo Molefe and technology and commercial executive, Matshela Koko.
At the time, Eskom said the suspensions were due to the appointment an inquiry into the financial and power challenges facing the utility.
Ramaphosa said he was “troubled” by the decision-making by the board to remove the executives.
I was never part of that whole process of getting them out of the system.
He said he had approached Zuma in order to close the Eskom technical war room that he headed to resolve the parastatal’s financial and power challenges.
“For me, it was a choice of Brian Molefe who I’ve come to know over the years as being a truly effective CEO, who I had also worked with in another state-owned enterprise and we worked extremely well together. That was Sasria,” Ramaphosa said.
Ramaphosa said at the time, Zuma did not have suggestions on the appointment of the next CEO of Eskom.
“I also wanted to disengage from the process and I then felt that Brian Molefe was the man who was able to do the work. He [Zuma] didn’t come up with the name, I came up with the name.”