Ramaphosa finally spills the beans: ‘I asked Zuma to close down Eskom war room’

The troubles confronting Eskom has finally forced South Africa President Cyril Ramaphosa to break his bottled up silence.

According to a seeming unhappy president, Ramaphosa on Thursday told the National Assembly that he had asked then-president Jacob Zuma to close down the Eskom “war room” which he co-ordinated from late 2014.

“I found that there were too many entry points into Eskom…. and that I could not get my arms around Eskom,” Ramaphosa said in reply to a question from Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Groenewald.

Groenewald had asked why the war room exercise had not managed to vanquish the problems besetting the power utility.

Ramaphosa was designated by Zuma to head the structure in December 2014.

However, within a relatively short time, he recommended to Zuma that it would be better to appoint a CEO for the company who could be held accountable for its operations.

That CEO was Brian Molefe. He was named in late 2015 and left the company in disgrace in November 2016 after then Public Protector Thuli Madonsela found that the company had bent over backwards to enter into a coal contract with Tegeta, a firm in the infamous Gupta family’s business stable.

“Molefe was appointed and what happened then is history,” Ramaphosa said.

Groenewald quipped: “So you did not lose the war, you conceded it.”

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