Date: Feb 27, 2019

The state capture commission has heard how Eskom paid millions of rands to a Gupta-owned mine in exchange for substandard coal.

The commission’s Advocate Kate Hofmeyr has described the evidence in the inquiry’s possession showing that Gupta-owned company Tegeta dictated the terms for a business agreement with the power utility in the absence of due diligence.

The evidence was submitted by former Eskom executive Dr Mark van der Riet, who died, allegedly just hours after signing off on his submission to the commission earlier in 2019.

After Eskom signed the coal agreement with the Gupta-owned Brakfontein Coal Mine, the power utility started complaining about the quality of coal it received.

Hofmeyr explained to the commission that when the coal was taken to an independent laboratory to be tested, 15 of the 30 samples from the Gupta mine failed the quality test.

“But, there was suddenly an allegation from Brakfontein mine that a bribe had been sought to be solicited from them by Sibonisiwe Laboratories.”

So, a decision was taken to take the same samples to another accredited lab for analysis.

“When that happened [is that the] SABS failed 29 out of the 30 reanalysed samples.”

Hofmeyr says the late van der Riet then decided to be present when the coal would be tested again, but he was instructed by his boss Matshela Koko not to go and witness the process.

She says the sample that was analysed in the absence of Eskom, then mysteriously passed the quality test.

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