Duduzane Zuma 'top shareholder' in firm buying Optimum

19 February 2016 - 11:36 By Paul Burkhardt and Franz Wild

President Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane is the biggest individual shareholder in a group that’s acquiring Glencore Plc’s 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.

Optimum Coal.
Optimum Coal.
Image: Jeremy Glyn

Tegeta Exploration & Resources Ltd. agreed to buy Optimum for R2.15 billion 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 Holdings SOC Ltd.


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 spokeswoman Yolanda Zondo said she couldn’t immediately comment when called 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 Feb. 17 into Tegeta’s purchase of Optimum. The Competition Commission has recommended the tribunal approve the transaction, subject to a ban on job cuts.

- Bloomberg