Picture: Mike Hutchings/Reuters/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Johannesburg - The Zondo commission will this morning continue hearing evidence regarding state capture at state-owned power utility Eskom. 

Eskom employees Gert Opperman and Johan Bester are expected to stand. 

On Monday, the commission entered its second week of probing the power utility and deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, who chairs the inquiry, heard from several Eskom witnesses. 

So far the commission has dealt with the controversial Huarong deal and Eskom's involvement in coal mining with the Gupta family's Tegeta company.

On Wednesday, Snehal Nagar, an Eskom employee for its primary division, told the commission that he was asked to sign off on a memo which would drastically reduce the fine imposed on Tegeta owned Optimum Coal Mine for poor coal quality. 

The fines were originally charged when Optimum was owned by mining giant Glencore. But, in late 2015 Glencore sold the mine to Gupta-owned Tegeta. While inheriting all of the assets owned by Glencore's Optimum Holdings, Tegeta also inherited the huge fines that Eskom had charged Glencore. 

The fines amounted to about R2.1 billion. 


Earlier he had also told the inquiry how he and his colleagues had helped "fooled the system" at Eskom in order to quickly prepay R659 million to Gupta-owned Tegeta for coal it had yet to deliver. 

Nagar said on April 13, 2016, while he was on his way to Pretoria he got a call from a Maya Naidoo, general manager at Eskom finance division. Naidoo instructed Nagar to ensure that an R659 million payment was made within two to three hours. 

"What the team did was they amended a purchase order of the Brakfontein contract to reflect an order of R659m. The payment to Tegeta was effected on the Brakfontein contract," Nagar said.

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