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Eskom and SIU go after bigwig officials and Guptas

In R3.8 billion Optimum claim.
At least 12 defendants have been attached to the claim. Eskom says it reserves the right to attach more people and entities in this action. Image: Photographer: Waldo Swiegers, Bloomberg

Eskom and the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) are going after members of the Gupta family, former Eskom executives, board members and other associates – including former government officials – in an effort to recoup R3.8 billion that the power utility lost when the Gupta family acquired Optimum Coal Holdings (OCH). 

In a joint statement released on Monday, Eskom and the SIU said they had filed a summons in the North Gauteng High Court to recover an estimated R3.8 billion that was diverted from the power utility “to help the Gupta family and its associates to acquire the operations of OCH, which owned the Optimum Coal Mining”. 

“The further delictual claim for damages pertains to the payments that were unlawfully made to Trillian by Eskom executives.”

Who exactly

In the statement, Eskom lists 12 defendants for the current case. 

“All of the former executives and board members breached their fiduciary duty of care and good faith to Eskom, and acted in a concerted state capture effort with the Gupta brothers, Mosebenzi Zwane and Salim Aziz Essa to illegally divert funds from Eskom,” the statement reads.

The 12 defendants include:

Gupta brothers 

  • Rajesh Tony Gupta;
  • Atul Gupta;
  • Ajay Gupta;

Former Eskom executives

  • Brian Molefe (Group Chief Executive Officer);
  • Anoj Singh (Chief Financial Officer); 
  • Matshela Moses Koko (Group Executive: Generation and former Acting Group Chief Executive Officer);
  • Suzanne Margaret Daniels (Company Secretary and Group Legal Head).

Former Eskom board members: 

  • Baldwin Ben Ngubane (Board Chairman); 
  • Chwayita Mabude (Board Member); 
  • Mark Vivian Pamensky (Board Member);


  • Mosebenzi Zwane (Former Minister of Mineral Resources);
  • Salim Aziz Essa (Businessman and Gupta friend).

What happened

The sale of the coal mine which supplies Hendrina power station took place between 2015 and 2016. At the time it was owned by Glencore, which had placed the mine in business rescue after failing to renegotiate the price of its long-term coal contract with Eskom and was facing an over-R2 billion penalty for providing poor quality coal to the utility. 

The former Eskom executives, Zwane and Essa were involved in a web of discussions and transactions which eventually led to Glencore’s forced sale of Optimum to Tegeta Resources and Explorations, which was largely owned by Gupta mining firm Oakbay Investments Limited and Fidelity Enterprises. 

In testimony before the State Capture Commission, former Mineral Resources Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi testified that  Ngubane had threatened to report him to former President Jacob Zuma because he refused to revoke Glencore’s mining licences in 2015. 

This exchange allegedly happened in a meeting that was attended by Molefe at a time when the Guptas were actively trying to purchase the mine. 


Ramatlhodi said a week later Zuma “promoted” him to the Department of Public Service and Administration, while the sale of Optimum took place when Zwane was minister of mineral resources. 

The commission also heard from former Glencore SA CEO Clinton Ephron how Zwane, Essa and Tony Gupta travelled to Zurich, Switzerland where they had a number of meetings with Glencore’s group CEO Ivan Glasenberg wherein they allegedly doubled the initial offer to buy Optimum. The new price tag was R2.1 billion

This purchase had to be assisted by Eskom, giving the Gupta-linked Tegeta a pre-payment of R600 million for coal when on the day of purchase the firm did not have enough to close the Optimum acquisition.

Following the revelations around state capture, the Gupta brothers and Essa fled the country and are now based in Dubai.

“These 12 defendants acted in a concerted effort whose objective was the corrupt, alternatively irregular, diversion of resources from Eskom. As a result of their actions in the acquisition of OCH during this period, Eskom suffered at least R3.8 billion in losses which it is legally obliged and morally burdened to recover, together with the interest thereon,” said Eskom and the SIU.



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So why is Mr JZ and Luthuli House not defendant no.13 and 14, they facilitated the whole looting!?

The problem is that the NPA was captured first. The Zondo farce is toothless without follow up. There will be no meaningful follow up whilst the NPA remains captured and thereby dysfunctional. The Guptas were assisted to leave with their loot by those who should have ensured their arrest and detention. Tell that to the so-called investigators (also captured).

@Kieswetter – Can SARS please investigate these individuals listed above for TAX EVASION? …. dont forget Zuma!

@Kieswetter – Set the example (if you gave guts)

The Guptas will never be extradited to SA because the moment they start testifying in court, they will spill the beans on everybody who had their fingers in the till and that means at least 80% of the ANC and the EFF. Last week we learned that that is the way the ANC funds itself- Businessmen get government contracts and in return, they make donations to the party. So extradition is never going to happen. At most one can hope for a few outsiders like Anoj Singh or Suzanne Daniels to be thrown under the bus as “token justice”.

you right… the rot is deep and if they spill the beans too many will be under the bus…

What about these businessmen? Who are they?

In yesterdays Sunday Times … FNB is doing business with Cyril Ramaphosa’s Son … found this interesting.

Brian Molefe, Lebashe group and Aluwani capital are all connected parties doing funny business!

I’m interested: What sort of funny business?

Wonderful news. Can we expect any arrests.

All talk and bravado. Court cases will go on and on for years. There will be appeals and re-appeals. The defence will mount a “smoke and mirrors act”. Remember, the accused parties have siphoned off hundreds of millions: they can afford the best legal teams.
Eventually, they will simply ignore any court order (if it ever comes to that) and refuse to pay anything, just as Molefe has not paid any of his ill-gotten pension back, despite court orders.
The law is academic. It does not apply to the cadres.
And of course the Guptas watch from afar and chuckle at S.A.’s legal system.

“They filed summons to recover” Please translate? Normally crooks are arrested and assets frozen. How does this plan work out in practical terms?

It’s not the Scorpions anymore. It’s the Zuptites.

Definitely not holding my breath on any prosecutions of ANC affiliates.

Yes Johan, I also thought that this is the ideal time to send in the Asset Forfeiture Unit first and then let the SIU do their work.

Chances of recovering anything about as high as me paying my e-tolls.

If they want something to happen they need to subcontract the prosecution out to Afriform. Maybe even get international prosecutors.

Madam at the NPA is STILL building capacity. Oh. And CR is shocked or something.

Now is a great opportunity for public pressure. Law firms and Advocates will be known by the clients that they choose to represent. Don’t give that old story about everybody is entitled to the best defence. They are not entitled to your services, you choose. If you want to get on a high horse, then defend them pro bono.

My promise : Neither I nor any company I have influence in will ever use any law firm or advocate that defends any accused in state capture.

If a few hundred thousand of us sign that pledge these people will be like the guptas without a bank account : legless

Maybe moneyweb and dailymaverick and such can figure a website where we log the cases and the legal help and where individuals can pledge sanctions against those aiding and abetting? I will pay to register my pledge!

The looters who have been outsmarted, are going after those looters who have outsmarted them. The highwaymen are going after those who have ambushed them. The slow faction is going after the innovative faction. The ANC faction that legalised plunder for their personal benefit, are going after the ANC faction that destroyed the criminal justice system to benefit from illegal plunder. The former corrupted the law, while the latter corrupted the criminal justice system. Both are criminal looters to the same extent. The contemporary ANC is a battleground between those who legalised plunder, and those who committed illegal plunder. The BEE billionaire against the Gupta billionaire. Who has the moral high ground in the pigsty? Both are covered in manure and rolling in the same mud.

One class of criminal is going after another class of criminal and somehow, one faction tries to morally justify their position. Even worse, law-abiding citizens see this altercation of criminals as a positive sign. They naively believe if the criminal faction that legalised plunder, wins the fight, that the rule of law will somehow miraculously prevail.

Meanwhile, “top legal teams” are queuing up to defend the rogues, sensing that lots and lots of stolen boodle can come their way.


Bit harsh!

I know people that voted ANC until now and that are honourable, capable (and of late : embarrassed). I would say most ANC loyalists are decent folk. They just need to take back their party…

As much as I want to agree with you, I find it close to impossible. There were good people in the Gestapo who honestly believed in the cause. The Nazis were the salt of the earth. The devaluation of the currency during the Weimar Republic, and the resulting poverty, shaped their understanding of reality. They had reasons and excuses for being Nazis.

A good, intelligent, honourable and capable ANC member votes for the DA or the FF+. The voter cannot claim to be moral while he serves the devil on the side. An honourable and capable ANC member is a contradiction in terms, almost like a humanitarian Nazi.

I respect the fact that some of the original ANC members were honourable and capable individuals when they joined the party more than 25 years ago. They enjoy freedom of choice and they have alternatives. If they remain loyal ANC members today, they are showing their true colours. They expose their real character by affiliating to a criminal organisation. All criminals have many excuses though.

If there are any left I see them as complicit. Don’t tell me they don’t know its a free for all?

If they have any scruples they will get out of there and PUBLICLY denounce the thieves.

So,in short, the country, she’s blokken!!??

The independent journalists are spearheading this fight against ANC criminality because they are directly incentivised to do so. The free-market system works wonderfully, but those who believe in the powers of freedom, individuality, accountability and rule of law should stand together to make themselves heard. Support investigative journalism and make yourself heard. The voters only hear the voices of Malema and Magashule because honest people remain silent.

We don’t need a BEE accreditation in order to extract the goodwill among citizens. The opposition parties and the independent media should come together to formalise a strategy to start the moral and ethical free-market revolution.

LOL..Zuma and Ace is still in charge

South Africa can only regain some integrity as a country when the criminal mastermind, Jacob Zuma, is behind bars.

The rhythmic simians just can’t help themselves can they?

Newsflash: Titanic amends its menu for last week of its journey. Azania is now deceased. Exit .. or suffer

These are positive steps in the right direction. The total opposite of what happened under Zuma. At least one notch to Cyrils belt!

Singh, Koko, Molefe, Zwane et all have the money, they will lawayer up, play for time, kick to every corner of the field and run down the clock, the SIU will be inept and these buggers will get off on a technicality due to some procedure not have been followed properly or some right infringement.

Oh please.

Bring back the Scorpions to do the investigation and put Glynnis Breytenbach or Gerrie Nel in charge of the prosecution.
Then, I will be hopeful.

Government can use this civil procedure against these corruptees to gather evidence – for criminal proceedings to follow.

End of comments.


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