Former chairperson of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa Popo Molefe has described as deeply disappointing the remarks that President Cyril Ramaphosa made about him at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

During Ramaphosa’s testimony to the Commission last week, evidence leader Vas Soni confronted him with Molefe’s previous account.

According to Molefe, he had approached Ramaphosa and the rest of the ANC’s top six with information in desperation as he tried to turn around the rail agency.

Molefe had said that then Transport minister Dipuo Peters had failed to appoint a permanent chief executive, although the entity had not had one for some five years.

Ramaphosa said he found Molefe’s statement disingenuous.

Molefe says this will discourage people from supporting his fight against corruption.

“Well I felt extremely aggrieved. I think it was unfortunate that he used the word disingenuous when he knew the real facts. It was very sad. And I think that statement was sending a conflicting message to the South African public even though on one hand he wants to root out corruption.”

Ramaphosa denied Molefe’s allegation that the ANC top six failed to act on corruption at the state-owned freight and rail entity.

“It is highly improbable, highly inconceivable that we could have left Popo Molefe out to dry, so that the board can collapse. To me that never happened and it would have meant that we have a herd mentality all of us. Let us let Popo Molefe out to dry and let him sink. It could never had happened, never,” added the President.

State capture 

During his testimony last week, Ramaphosa told the Commission that opting to remain silent or simply going along with the status quo was not an option as he did not want to betray the ANC and its founding members.

He said he had a number of options when he found out that state capture was taking place when he was Deputy President.

Ramaphosa outlines his response to state capture as it as taking place: