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Joe Singh sees nothing wrong with paying R500k for a political favour

Just Coal CEO Joe Singh has admitted to paying the ANCYL so it could convince Eskom not to terminate its coal contract.

Joe Singh. Picture: Twitter/@rameshjoesingh

JOHANNESBURG - Just Coal CEO Joe Singh says he doesn't feel “too bad” about paying the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL) R500,000 in the hope that it would convince Eskom not to cancel a contract with his company.

Singh has admitted to paying the money to the Youth League and claims someone promised him the body could convince the parastatal not to terminate its coal contract.

Weekend reports said the league's president Collen Maine accepted the donation but failed to deliver.

Singh says he doesn't see anything wrong with paying R500,000 to the ANCYL for a political favour.

“They came and offered to help me and I said: Ok fine but I can only give money into your ANCYL account and not to anyone in their personal capacity.”

Although the ANCYL failed to deliver, Singh says at the time, everything sounded legit.

The youth league confirmed to The Sunday Times that it received the donation but denies it was a bribe.

LISTEN: In his own words: Just Coal’s Joe Singh on ANCYL payment

At the same time, Just Coal says it now realises that it was morally wrong to pay to the ANCYL to secure help in attempts to save the coal contract with Eskom.

Singh says he was approached by the ANCYL who asked for a donation, which he saw as an opportunity to save his company's agreement with Eskom.

“So I don’t feel too bad about that. Morally it might not seem right, but at the time it sounded okay.”

Legal expert Cathy Powell says Singh's admission could render the firm criminally liable.

“That people can think this way, shows how desperately tenuous the idea of abiding by law is becoming.”

Eskom says the reason the termination of the contract with Just Coal is part of a pending court case and is therefore still considering its response.

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