Eskom’s prepayment of more than R600 million to the Gupta family’s Tegeta Resources and Energy was above board and other companies had previously received similar advances of hundreds of millions of rands, Eskom bosses said on Friday.
Board member Pat Naidoo said the R659 million prepayment was made in terms of a 2008 board approved coal mandate in respect of prepayments for coal supply.
“Several other prepayments to suppliers have been made since 2008, ranging from R100 million to R400 million. Coal mines also enjoy upfront investments of capital into their mining operations. A future investment requirement [in prepayments] is R38 billion,” Naidoo told reporters in Johannesburg.
The latest approval was granted in September this year for a capital request of R1.8 billion by Exxaro’s Matla mine , he said.
Madonsela, who was investigating allegations of state capture by the wealthy Gupta family, cast the net wider into Eskom’s dealings with Tegeta.
In her 355-page “State of Capture” report, Madonsela found that a prepayment of several hundreds of millions rands by Eskom to Tegeta for a coal tender to supply Arnot Power Station was allegedly used to buy Optimum Coal Mine (OCM) from Glencore – a move she noted may be corrupt, illegal and amount to fruitless and wasteful expenditure.
Madonsela also found that Eskom CEO Brian Molefe and Ajay Gupta had a close relationship and they called each other 58 times.
Molefe said Madonsela had made adverse findings against him but had never met with him and granted him the right of reply.
“I would have asked her for an opportunity to interview the people who gave her information, I would have also asked here how she got the information and who gave her the cellphone records. But anyway, that is a matter that I am receiving legal advice on,” he said on Friday.
“Today, in a report, she has called me a liar, saying she gave me a right of reply. I believe that her (Madonsela) failure to ask me these questions has resulted in enormous prejudice and damage and I would like to reserve my rights … thank you.”
A composed Molefe ended by saying that Tegeta delivered coal to Eskom after it was paid the R659 million, and that he and Eskom do not know what Tegeta did with the money.
– African News Agency (ANA)