Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe said the South African Reserve Bank (Sarb) turned down the idea to acquire Nedbank and turn it into a black-owned bank when Finance Minister Tito Mboweni was governor.

Molefe said the Gupta brothers understood the vision and supported it, so he had no problem working with them.

He said the Guptas went to great lengths to help him realize the vision of a black-owned bank.

But Mboweni didn’t: “The Reserve Bank was reluctant to proceed, the governor was Minister Tito Mboweni, I don’t know if I’m implicating him, I even saw him. It was about a black bank; it was about buying the bank and it was turned down by the Reserve Bank.

Molefe said the Guptas applied for PIC funding when he was CEO, but it was never approved.

However, they continued to support the idea of a black bank even after the Reserve Bank had turned it down.

He said he had no knowledge of Guptas’ involvement in his appointment at Eskom.