The Pretoria high court has dismissed a bid by Swiss shell company Charles King to halt the sale of Optimum Coal mine. The application to interdict the sale of Optimum was dismissed with costs by the court on Friday and represents the 44th unsuccessful legal bid to scupper the work of the business rescue practitioners who took over the running of the mine, and other Gupta-owned assets, in February 2018. Business rescue is a provision of the Companies Act which aims to rehabilitate financially distressed companies.

The Gupta businesses were forced into rescue when banks refused to provide them with accounts and they became unable to transact. Optimum Coal mine has been at the centre of state capture allegations after former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s "State of Capture" report detailed how, under the tenure of former president Jacob Zuma, Eskom officials forced the sale of Optimum by Glencore and then helped the politically connected Gupta family to buy it. Charles King’...

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