Glencore wasn’t forced to sell Optimum mine, Molefe tells Zondo Inquiry

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe said that what Optimum wanted was preposterous and illegal and his fiduciary duty was to Eskom.

A screengrab of former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe appearing at the state capture inquiry on 2 March 2021. Picture: SABC/YouTube

JOHANNESBURG - Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe said that Glencore was not forced to sell the Optimum coal mine but it did so of its own accord.

The former Eskom CEO is back at the state capture commission to continue his testimony.

He said that he scrapped an agreement to increase prices for purchasing coal from the mine, which would’ve saved it.

The Eskom board approved the change of a R1.68 billion pre-payment to Glencore into a guarantee for Tegeta and Tegeta used that guarantee to take over the mine.

Molefe said that what Optimum wanted was preposterous and illegal and his fiduciary duty was to Eskom.

But he said that Eskom had nothing to do with the change of ownership of the mine.

“Because I refused to sign a R150 million deal, I refused to be bullied into acting against the interests. They sold the mine to the group, I didn’t make them sell it.”

Molefe said that Optimum told Eskom that if they didn’t agree to the price increase it would stop supplying coal but he knew it was a bluff and he wasn’t fazed.

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