Ex-Eskom exec Pamensky: Jewish community kicked me out because of Tegeta saga

Mark Pamensky has concluded another sitting at the state capture commission where he denied that he advised the Guptas based on privileged Eskom information.

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 he was kicked out of the Jewish community because many believed he was involved when Tegeta elbowed Glencore out as owners of Optimum Coal Mine.

He concluded another sitting at the state capture commission where he denied that he advised the Guptas based on privileged Eskom information.

Pamensky has denied that he assisted the Guptas to get the R2.1 billion penalties imposed on Optimum Coal Mine withdrawn.

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

Pamensky told the state capture commission that he was already a board member when he sent an email to the Guptas congratulating them on the acquisition of Optimum Coal Mine.

But he said he didn’t have insider information because as a board member of Gupta-owned Oakbay Resources and Energy, he had recused himself from all coal procurement decisions of the power utility to manage the conflict of interest.

ALSO READ: Eskom board was misled in prepayment of R1.6bn to Optimum, Zondo hears

In his email, Pamensky said he would meet the Guptas anywhere in India or Dubai to discuss their transaction, but he maintained he didn’t divulge privileged information to them.

“I’ve waited five years to explain those emails, I’ve been lambasted, I’ve been kicked out of the Jewish community on these emails. People think I was involved in this transaction. I’ve never been involved in this transaction, so at least I had my chance to come forward and tell it all today.”

Pamensky admitted that he advised the Guptas not to conclude the deal unless it was clear that they wouldn’t be liable for the fines imposed by the power utility.

But he said all that information he knew from the media, not from Eskom.

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