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#GuptaEmails lead to corruption charges against Pamensky

15 August 2017 - 11:11 By Kyle Cowan
Mark Pamensky. File photo.
Mark Pamensky. File photo.
Image: Oakbay Website

Charges of corruption and abuse of his position at Eskom have been laid against Mark Pamensky‚ a former board member of the electricity utility‚ after leaked Gupta emails over his alleged role in state capture.

Pamensky was a director at the Gupta owned Oakbay Resources and Energy at the same time.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) announced the laying of charges against Pamensky on Tuesday. In a statement Outa COO Ben Theron said “the charges relate to Pamensky’s conduct while he was a director of Eskom and of at least one business linked to the Guptas’ business empire”.

“In his role as non-executive board member of various companies‚ Pamensky was the conduit for the flow of privileged information between the companies‚” reads Theron’s affidavit submitted in a bid to substantiate the charges.

“Pamensky further used his position and authority as non-executive board member on various boards to influence decisions and manipulate the outcomes of the various committees that he sat on‚” Theron alleged.

Outa further claimed that it believed Pamensky failed to recuse himself from “decisions in which he had a conflict of interest” and thus showed a willingness to assist in “questionable transactions” in favour of Gupta owned companies.

Pamensky‚ who was appointed to the Eskom board in December 2014‚ has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

He first surfaced in former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s State of Capture report.

“Mr Pamensky . . . would have or could have access to privilege (sic) or sensitive information regarding OCH [Optimum Coal Holdings] and various Eskom Contracts‚” Madonsela wrote in the report. Pamensky meanwhile told the Jewish Report that the conflict of interest was not real‚ but merely a perception.

“There was never a real conflict of interest‚ but a perceived conflict. When I found out from Atul Gupta that they were looking to purchase Optimum Coal‚ I duly informed Eskom to note the perceived conflict and to please recuse me and not send me any documentation‚” the Jewish Report quoted him as saying.

Pamensky has gone to court to correct what he has termed factual errors in Madonsela’s report.

Outa has meanwhile attached the emails between Pamensky and the various Gupta family members to its affidavit.