Ex-Eskom board member Pamensky confirms Essa friendship, denies business deals

The state capture commission asked Pamensky about the allegations that the board was a Gupta board.

Former Eskom board member Mark Pamensky at the state capture commission of Inquiry on Thursday, 11 February 2021. Picture: YouTube screengrab

JOHANNESBURG – Former Eskom board member, Mark Pamensky, said that he and the husband of another board member, Veroshni Naidoo, knew Gupta associate Salim Essa but they did not do business together.

The state capture commission asked Pamensky about the allegations that the board was a Gupta board.

But he said that he applied for the position by responding to advertising and that he did not know that Naidoo also applied.

“Yes, I did know him, chair,” Pamensky told state capture inquiry chair, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

When asked if he was aware that Naidoo also knew Essa, Pamensky replied: “Yes.”

He also confirmed that the three of them knew each other as friends, but added that they did “no business” together.

WATCH: The State Capture Commission hears evidence from former Eskom board member Mark Pamensky

At the same time, Pamensky said that he decided to recuse himself from coal procurement decisions of the power utility because he was also a board member of Gupta-owned Oakbay Resources and Energy.

He said that he did not participate in the decision to award the R1.68 billion pre-payment to Optimum Coal Mine.

“When the email arrived on the eighth, it said the pre-purchases of Optimum coal and it was coal-related so immediately I sent an email to the company secretary and to the chairman because that’s the Eskom conflict rules -you need to inform them - and I asked that I am potentially conflicted and would like to be recused from all items.”

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