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Gupta-linked Eskom board member named in probe resigns

Nov 16 2016 07:23
Paul Burkhardt

Cape Town - Mark Pamensky, who is a director of a company owned by the Gupta family that has ties with President Jacob Zuma’s son, resigned as a board member of Eskom, less than a week after CEO Brian Molefe quit.

Recommendations will be made to the cabinet “soon” on how the power company’s board will be strengthened, Public Enterprise Minister Lynne Brown said in an emailed statement announcing the resignation on Tuesday.

Pamensky has been a non-executive director at Eskom since December 2014.

READ: Bizarre case of Mark Pamensky the Gupta appointee to Eskom’s board

Both Pamensky and Molefe were subpoenaed to answer to the nation’s Public Protector over an anti-graft investigation into the influence the Gupta family - who are friends with Zuma - have over government appointments and contracts.

The family and Zuma deny any wrongdoing. Molefe on Friday said he will leave Eskom “in the interests of good corporate governance” and that his name will be cleared.

READ: Gupta director joined Eskom board within three months

Members of Eskom’s board failed to declare their close business and personal relationships with the Gupta family, according to a report released November 2 by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela.

It appears that Eskom last year forced Glencore into selling its Optimum mine to Tegeta Exploration & Resources, then part-owned by the Guptas and Zuma’s son, said Madonsela. She ordered the establishment of a judicial commission of inquiry to investigate whether there had been any wrongdoing.

Pamensky is still the lead independent non-executive director at Oakbay Resources and Energy, but is no longer a director at Shiva Uranium, according to a company spokesperson. Both companies are owned by the Guptas.

Molefe turns down staff request to remain CEO - Report

Meanwhile, Eskom staff urged Molefe to remain as CEO, as they were happy with the direction and stability he had created at the power utility.

Molefe, who was called to a meeting by staff calling themselves the "guardians", turned down their request, according to Business Day on Wednesday. 

The group will write a letter to Brown, requesting her to refuse his resignation. However, Brown and the board have already accepted his resignation.

Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter:

eskom  |  oakbay  |  lynne brown  |  gupta family
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