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'Eskom & Brian Molefe strong-armed Glencore on coal contract,' inquiry hears

This emerged from testimony by former Glencore CEO Clinton Ephron, who is on the stand at the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.

A screengrab of former Glencore CEO Clinton Ephron as he testifies at the Zondo commission of Inquiry into state capture in Pretoria on 27 February. Picture: YouTube.

JOHANNESBURG - The state capture commission has heard that when the new Eskom leadership arrived, with Brian Molefe as CEO, the power utility changed its contractual coal supply agreement (CSA) with Optimum coal mine, all in the name of strong-arming Glencore to sell the mining company to Gupta-owned Tegeta.

Former Glencore CEO Clinton Ephron, who is on the stand at the Zondo commission, says he held a meeting with Molefe in May 2015 to discuss the negotiated coal supplier agreement, which he says was supported by the previous Eskom management.

Investigations have previously found that the power utility prejudiced Glencore by fining its mining company R2.1 billion for supplying poor-quality coal.

By refusing to waive the historical penalties levied against Optimum coal mine by Eskom, the company went into business rescue, and was purchased by Tegeta.

Ephron says his meeting with Molefe was devastating.

“He [Molefe] said to me that Eskom would not be amending the terms of the CSA and would continue to enforce its rights in terms of the contract, and no amendments would be considered.”

WATCH: Zondo Commission hears details of Tegeta's Optimum mine acquisition

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)