(Bloomberg) --

South Africa’s Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. issued a summons against former executives and board members, seeking to recover about 3.8 billion rand ($220 million) that it alleges was diverted illegally.

The funds were used to help the politically connected Gupta family acquire operations of Optimum Coal Holdings, which supplied the fuel to one of the utility’s power plants, Eskom and South Africa’s Special Investigating Unit said in a statement. A further claim pertains to payments made unlawfully to consultants by the utility.

Members of the Gupta family have been linked to former President Jacob Zuma during a period of so-called state capture, when funds were irregularly paid to various entities under contracts that had not gone through stringent vetting processes. Zuma and the Guptas have denied wrongdoing.

The 12 defendants in the delictual claim brought by the state-owned power utility include former Eskom Chief Executive Officer Brian Molefe, former group executive Matshela Koko and former Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane, along with Gupta family members and associates.

A summons was issued in the North Gauteng High Court, according to the statement.

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