Brian Molefe. Picture: Henk Kruger
Brian Molefe. Picture: Henk Kruger

Zondo must invite Glencore to the Commission so we get clarity on Molefe’s claims

By Opinion Time of article published Jan 21, 2021

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It was interesting to read Eskom’s former Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe’s claim that Cyril Ramaphosa, attempted to force Eskom to increase the price of coal that Optimum Colliery supplied to Hendrina Powers Station, from R150 a ton to R530 a ton.

The evidence, provided by Stephan Hofstatter in his book, Licence to Loot, places the increase squarely on Eskom.

Eskom had locked Optimum into a long-term contract and was refusing to honour the price-escalation clauses. Optimum was losing R100 million a month and was on the verge of bankruptcy. Apparently, at this point, Molefe, and Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane, both of whom had been appointed by Jacob Zuma, negotiated with the Gupta-owned Tegeta Resources to offer to purchase the Optimum Mine from Glencore.

The Gupta family did not have the R2.15 billion required, so Molefe approved a loan of R2bn from Eskom to Tegeta Resources to fund the purchase, which monies were recouped by Eskom, via the coal supplied by Tegeta to Hendrina Power Station – at the higher price per ton.

It would be interesting to see if the Zondo Commission could verify this information with Glencore chief executive Ivan Glasenberg.

By Mitch Launspach

The Star

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