Hinnewssa can report authoritatively that newly sworn-in ANC MP Brian Molefe amassed a luxury “platinum” mansion in an upmarket Pretoria estate and other expensive assets while he was CEO of Eskom.
Hinnewssa gathered that Molefe bought a sprawling property in the Cornwall Hill Estate, with its own cigar lounge and gym, at a steal for R10m from his friend and former Public Investment Corporation (PIC) colleague, Tshepo Mahloele, in January last year.
The R10m sale is 41% less than the R17m the property was originally advertised for – and approximately R4m less than an offer made on the house by a prospective buyer, according to an estate agent with knowledge of the transaction.
Molefe, who’d been living in another house on the same estate for several years, moved about 2 kilometres to his new house. He didn’t sell his first property.
The intriguing transaction may put the former Transnet and Eskom boss in a conflict of interest quandary if he is appointed to the finance ministry by President Jacob Zuma, as is widely speculated.
Mahloele is the CEO of Harith General Partners, a boutique fund manager started with state money by the PIC in 2007 to invest government pensions in infrastructure projects outside South Africa. Molefe, who was PIC chief executive at the time, is credited with establishing Harith.
The government-owned PIC is the main shareholder in Harith. The minister of finance represents the government in the PIC, but in recent years it has become customary for the deputy minister of finance to chair the PIC board.
As minister or deputy minister of finance, Molefe would be involved in PIC investment decisions, including transactions involving Harith. This means MolefeN could be exposed to decisions that would benefit his property benefactor – Mahloele.
According to deeds office records, Molefe bought the house from Red Coral Investments 86, a shelf company whose two directors are Tshepo and Elizabeth Mahloele.