The board of Eskom, appointed by Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, consisted predominantly of people with ties to President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane, the Gupta family and its associates, and went to extreme lengths to assist the family to buy the Optimum coal mine, according to the former public protector’s report into state capture. It also illustrates the "cosy relationship" between Eskom CE Brian Molefe and the Guptas through Molefe’s phone records, which show that he called Ajay Gupta 44 times over a six-month period and was in the vicinity of their Saxonwold compound 19 times between August and November 2015. Brown failed to apply basic principles of corporate governance in her appointments — described as "improper" — and failed to take action once this became apparent. The report shows a web of interrelated conflicts of interest and overlapping business relationships between Eskom directors and the Gupta family, including well-known associate Salim Essa. At the centre ...

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