Optimum used Ramaphosa's name to threaten Eskom execs, Koko tells Zondo Inquiry

Former Eskom CEO Matshela Koko was back at the state capture commission on Wednesday where he was testifying about the controversial transaction that led to the Guptas owning Optimum Coal Mine.

A screengrab of former Eskom CEO Matshela Koko appearing at the state capture inquiry on 29 March 2021. Picture: SABC/YouTube

JOHANNESBURG - Former Eskom CEO Matshela Koko said that Optimum Coal Mine used the name of President Cyril Ramaphosa to threaten executives who were negotiating the fallout between the two entities.

Koko was back at the state capture commission on Wednesday where he was testifying about the controversial transaction that led to the Guptas owning Optimum Coal Mine.

Investigations show how the Eskom board was allegedly misled to approve a prepayment for the mine and how executives, including Koko, allegedly turned it into a guarantee for Gupta-owned Tegeta to take ownership of the mine.

But Koko said that Glencore, the company that had Ramaphosa as a director, was not elbowed out but negotiated in bad faith.

He said Optimum opted for business rescue instead of arbitration because it had political connections even after Eskom had bent over backwards to accommodate the mine.

"I said to you, Optimum keeps on threatening us with Mr Ramaphosa. A host of illegal, irregular activity then followed that includes non-payment of penalties up to the tune of R2 billion that Eskom was entitled to. The action by OCM not to go on arbitration, instead going for business rescue, was an act of impunity," Koko said.

WATCH: Ex-Eskom CEO Matshela Koko returns to Zondo commission of inquiry

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