Gupta mine grab: how Brown misled Parliament - amaBhungane

Trillian or its subsidiary companies had already invoiced Eskom for R266m at time of minister's denial

Earlier this week amaBhungane revealed how the Guptas grabbed Optimum Coal Holdings from resources giant Glencore – including allegations that Eskom chief executive Brian Molefe and chair Ben Ngubane tried to use Minerals Minister Ngoako Ramatlhodi to put extra pressure on Glencore. But when the Guptas emerged victorious and it was announced that they would buy Optimum for R2.15 billion, they struggled to come up with the money. Today we present new evidence that Eskom once again lent a helping hand.

In December last year, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown tried to put rumours to rest of a lucrative pipeline of contracts between Eskom and Trillian Capital Partners.

Trillian, the financial services company owned by Gupta lieutenant Salim Essa, had not long before been accused of receiving big payouts from state-owned companies despite having no formal contracts and performing little or no work.

Brown was responding to parliamentary questions from DA MP Natasha Mazzone, who asked, among other things, which “contracts of engagement have been concluded” between Eskom and Trillian, and “what are the costs involved in each case”.

Brown replied: “None” and “not applicable”.

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