Molefe said Ramaphosa was brought into the fold by mining giant Glencore when it bought Optimum because it wanted a political heavyweight that would help it renegotiate its price per ton agreement with Eskom.
Ramaphosa has previously denied Molefe's accusations related to exerting political pressure on the power utility’s bosses. The president said: "There is a lot of untruth in saying I got shares to advance the interests of Glencore." He said he would have his own opportunity to go and testify before the commission.
Molefe said his attitude towards Optimum when it negotiated for a new price, which he refused to approve, was influenced by among others that he “knew too much”.
Eskom’s management is accused of playing a role in ensuring that Optimum was sold to the Gupta family in 2015.
Molefe said he had two choices – to either sink Eskom and save Optimum, and he chose to save the power utility.
“I had no obligation to take Optimum out of bankruptcy… we might have saved Optimum but we would have bankrupted Eskom,” Molefe said.
The Gupta family eventually purchased the Optimum coal mine from Glencore after the multinational mining company allegedly caved under pressure from Eskom and the department of mineral resources.
Former Glencore chief executive Clinton Ephron told the state capture inquiry that there had been several attempts by the Gupta family to buy Optimum mine, which had a contract to supply coal to Eskom's Hendrina power station in Mpumalanga.
The offers eventually culminated in a meeting in Zurich, Switzerland, in December 2015. The meeting was allegedly facilitated by then mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane.