SOUTH AFRICA, NOVEMBER 11, 2016 – The chief executive of South Africa’s state-owned power utility Eskom on Friday announced his resignation after a report by an anti-graft watchdog implicated him in influence-peddling.
Brian Molefe said he would step down on January 1, stressing “this act is not an admission of wrongdoing on my part.”
“It is rather what I feel to be the correct thing to do in the interests of the company and corporate governance,’’ Molefe said in a statement.
Molefe’s resignation followed a report by former anti-graft ombudsman Thuli Madonsela, who called for an investigation into the so-called “state capture” by the Gupta business family, known to be close to President Jacob Zuma.
The Guptas have been accused of influencing cabinet appointments and securing government tenders.
Madonsela’s report revealed close relations between Molefe and the Guptas, and suggested that Eskom may have broken the law to accommodate the Gupta-owned coal company Tegeta Resources.
Zuma on Thursday defeated a no-confidence vote that the opposition had tabled in parliament, partly because of Madonsela’s report.
Earlier this year, Zuma had to repay the government 7.8 million rand (545,604 dollars) in taxpayers’ money he used to upgrade his private home, after the Constitutional Court ruled that the president had violated the constitution.
Zuma has also been implicated in other corruption scandals, which are seen as having done enormous damage to the ruling African National Congress (ANC).