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Ramathlodi Is Prepared To Repeat His State Capture Claims Under Oath

The former mining minister stands by his claims that Eskom tried to strong arm him into effectively helping the Guptas buy a mine.

17/05/2017 08:07 SAST | Updated 17/05/2017 08:07 SAST
Sydney Seshibedi/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Former mining minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi told Business Day on Tuesday he was would repeat allegations he made under oath, that Eskom CEO and chairperson Brian Molefe and Ben Ngubane respectively tried to force him to suspend Glencore's mining licences while the Guptas were trying to purchase a Glencore mine.

When Ramatlhodi refused, he lost his job as mining minister and later resigned from Parliament, according to the report.

On Monday, in an exclusive report by amaBhungane, Ramatlhodi claimed he was effectively elbowed out of his job after failing to revoke the mining licence of Glencore, whose Optimum mine was later purchased by the Gupta family.

The report describes the sale of Optimum is described as a hostile takeover, with Glencore essentially being "squeezed" into selling to the Guptas.

He told amaBhungane: "They insisted that I must suspend all the Glencore mining licences pending the payment of the R2-billion... You must remember that the country was undergoing load-shedding at that time. I said to them: how many mines do these people have supplying Eskom? How many more outages are we going to have?... I said I'm not going to shut the mines."

Eskom vehemently denied the allegations to amaBhungane, and on Tuesday, Ngubane also sought to rubbish the claims.

Ngubane told Eyewitness News on Tuesday that Ramatlhodi's allegations were "preposterous" and false.

"We can't instruct a minister on what to do. We take our problems to ministers and ask for help. Now for a minister to claim that we made him take a decision on something is preposterous."

On Tuesday, Ramatlhodi told Business Day he was willing to tell his story to an inquiry into state capture.

He reportedly said he did not talk to former public protector Thuli Madonsela when she was investigating state capture because he was sick at the time.

AmaBhungane's managing partner Sam Sole told Huffington Post on Monday that the revelations "add layers" to the public protector's state of capture report, in which Brian Molefe was implicated, and "emphasises the question mark that the public protector's report placed over his [Molefe's] head".

"The extent of the Gupta empire is still being unraveled", said Sole.