LIVE FEED: State Capture Inquiry – June 10, 2021
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Johannesburg - The former CEO of mining company Glencore, Clinton Ephron, will be back on the witness stand at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry on Thursday morning.
Ephron previously appeared before the commission in 2019.
He told the inquiry how Gupta-owned Oakbay Resources made an offer to buy Optimum coal mine for R2 billion.
He said Glencore was approached by auditing company KPMG which said a client was interested in buying Optimum coal mine.
Ephron said the company asked who the client was and the auditing firm confirmed that it was Oakbay Resources.
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He said, the group offered to purchase the mine for R2bn but Glencore declined to sell.
After the rejection, Optimum received a letter from a Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr who asked the company to pay of just over R2bn.
Ephron said that as much as Glencore could fight the penalties it was suspected that Eskom would stop payments for coal supplied.
In 2015, Optimum was supplying Eskom with coal below-cost payments and it was decided that it would entertain offers for purchase as the company was facing the likelihood of voluntary business rescue because of operating costs and also the R2bn in fines from Eskom.
Optimum had stopped supplying coal to Eskom's Hendrina power station. Former chief executive Brian Molefe and executive Matshela Koko demanded that Optimum resume supply of coal to the plant while negotiations took place.
In the same year, Oakbay Resources returned with another offer for Optimum and it offered R1 per share.
Meanwhile, in September 2015 Mosebenzi Zwane was appointed as the minister of mineral resources, replacing Ngoako Ramatlhodi.