Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo is chairing the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The purchase of Optimum coal mine by Gupta-owned Tegeta Exploration and Resources is expected to take centre stage at the Zondo commission this morning. 

Clinton Ephron, the former CEO of Glencore is expected to testify. 

Ephron is expected to outline how his company was pressured into selling its Optimum coal mine to Gupta-linked Tegeta. The official is expected to outline how the company was pressured through the issuing of section 59 notices and other operating pressures which resulted in it having to sell. 

The Public Protector's state capture report raised various questions about allegations of corruption at Eskom. Former public protector Thuli Madonsela touched on the questionable purchase of Optimum from Glencore by Gupta-linked Tegeta. 

Mandonsela said records showed that former minister of mineral resources Mosebenzi Zwane had possibly played a role in assisting the Guptas to clinch the deal. Zwane had travelled to Switzerland during the time and Mandonsela said Zwane needed to answers to his role in the deal. 

Eskom board Jabu Mabuza also told the commission that former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe’s role in Optimum purchase by Tegeta needs to be investigated by the commission. 

On Tuesday, the commission heard from Eskom manager Daniel Mashigo who outlined how the coal contract signed with Tegeta was unusual because a financial assessment of the company was only done after the contract was awarded. 

That assessment showed that Tegeta was not in good financial standing. Mashigo said if the financial assessment of the company had been done beforehand he could not see how Tegeta would have been awarded the contract. 

The commission also heard how a now deceased Eskom employee Mark van der Riet was suspended for 32 months when continued his investigation into the quality of coal supplied by Tegeta.

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