JOHANNESBURG – Former Minister of Mineral Resources Ngoako Ramatlhodi and his former advisor Samuel Muofhe are testifying before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Parktown on Tuesday morning.
Ramatlhodi is expected to shed light on the Gupta family’s acquisition of the Optimum Coal Mine as well as the role the former president and his son Duduzane played in influencing the department’s dealings with the family.
Earlier this week Independent Media reported that state-owned power utility Eskom has paid Gupta-owned Optimum nearly R1 billion this year for coal it has not received. This was a result of contractual obligations largely engineered by former mineral resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane and axed-acting Eskom group chief executive Matshela Koko.
Former president Jacob Zuma moved Ramatlhodi to Public Service and Administration in September 2015.
In 2010 Gupta-owned firm Imperial Crown Trading (ICT), in which Duduzane was a part owner, became embroiled in a dispute with ArcelorMittal and Anglo American regarding the ownership of Kumba Iron Ore. Arcelor Mittal did not renew its mining rights stake in Kumba’s Sishen mine when its mining rights expired in 2009, allowing Kumba to use a legal loophole to wriggle out of an agreement to supply Arcelor Mittal with iron ore at a preferential price for 9 years.
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