Molefe defends Eskom decision to buy coal from Tegeta

Brian Molefe testified at the state capture inquiry about what led to Tegeta taking ownership of the Optimum coal mine (OCM) and that supplied coal to the Hendrina power station.

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 defended the company’s decision to buy coal from Tegeta at more than R400 per tonne when it had refused to pay Glencore R500.

Molefe testified at the state capture inquiry about what led to Tegeta taking ownership of the Optimum coal mine (OCM) and that supplied coal to the Hendrina power station.

Eskom had refused to increase prices from R150 per tonne to R503 per tonne.

Molefe said that Glencore was not forced to sell Optimum coal mine but it did so of its own accord.

He refused to conclude an agreement that was already in motion when he became CEO when Glencore was pleading that the price increase would save it.

Molefe said that the price increase that Optimum wanted was preposterous and illegal and his fiduciary duty was to Eskom.

Yet the power utility agreed to pay Tegeta almost the same amount.

"What you are saying Mr Seleka is that we were buying coal at R400 was actually better than the R1,039 on the long term, firstly. Secondly, it's not the same quality coal," Molefe said.

Advocate Pule Seleka asked: "This coal was being obtained from OCM which was supplying to Hendrina power station and now tegeta taking that coal from OCM and supplying it to Arnot, so the quality was the same?"

Molefe: "Remember that OCM was exporting coal from the Optimum mine, the coal that was being exported was of a different quality to the coal that was being given to Eskom."

Molefe denies that companies not favoured by him were elbowed out.

WATCH: Brian Molefe: A campaign was started to taint us as Gupta people

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.