Zuma's son 'the top shareholder' in firm that bought Optimum

Duduzane Zuma| Foto: brendan croft
Duduzane Zuma| Foto: brendan croft

Johannesburg - President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane is the biggest individual shareholder in a group that’s acquiring Glencore’s [JSE:GLN] Optimum colliery, a person familiar with the shareholding said.

The group includes the Gupta family, whose links with the Zuma family have been criticised by opposition parties.

Tegeta Exploration & Resources agreed to buy Optimum for R2.15bn in December after Glencore had placed the mine under administration because it said it couldn’t make a profit because of the terms of a coal supply deal with state power company Eskom.

Tegeta is 64% owned by by Mabengela Investments, which in turn is 45% owned by Duduzane Zuma, the person said. That makes him the biggest individual shareholder in Optimum, the person said.

Oakbay Investments spokesperson Yolanda Zondo said she couldn’t immediately comment when called by Bloomberg and requested e-mailed questions.

Oakbay represents both Duduzane Zuma and the Gupta family, whose businesses have employed one of Jacob Zuma’s wives.

Representatives of the family sit on at least 12 company boards with Duduzane Zuma, according to public filings.

The Competition Tribunal started hearings on February 17 into Tegeta’s purchase of Optimum. The Competition Commission has recommended the tribunal approve the transaction, subject to a ban on job cuts.

RELATED COLUMN: One has to be truly blind not to notice that the ANC is facing what could be its most frustrating conundrum since it was formed some 104 years ago, writes Solly Moeng.

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