AT ESKOM?

With board mem­bers re­sign­ing in num­bers and a Gupta cloud hang­ing over it, who will lead the power sup­plier is any­one’s guess

CityPress - - Business and Tenders -

SEC­OND SCALP

Mark Pa­men­sky this week be­came the sec­ond Eskom board mem­ber to re­sign in the wake of the State of Cap­ture re­port.

The rel­a­tively lit­tle-known nonex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor had links to the Gup­tas through four dif­fer­ent com­pa­nies.

Al­though Pa­men­sky had ap­par­ently not taken part in the meet­ings okay­ing deals with the Gup­tas, he was at the meet­ing where one key de­ci­sion was taken.

This was on April 23 last year when the board de­cided to not sign off on a re­vised coal deal with Glen­core, but in­stead sent it to Molefe, who had been “sec­onded” from Transnet less than a week be­fore.

Molefe scrapped the deal, al­legedly to en­able the Gup­tas to swoop in and buy the Op­ti­mum mine, a de­ci­sion that sits at the heart of Madon­sela’s ob­ser­va­tions about Eskom.

Even if Pa­men­sky were not on the board com­mit­tee mak­ing sub­se­quent de­ci­sions in favour of the Gup­tas, he “would have or could have ac­cess to priv­i­leged or sen­si­tive in­for­ma­tion re­gard­ing [Op­ti­mum] and var­i­ous Eskom con­tracts”, wrote Madon­sela.

“Such in­for­ma­tion, cou­pled with a per­sonal eco­nomic in­ter­est, would give Tegeta an un­fair ad­van­tage over other in­ter­ested buy­ers. It would be im­por­tant to un­der­stand the role of this in­di­vid­ual,” she said.

ALL GONE

Most of the Eskom board mem­bers who are ac­cused of Gupta-re­lated con­flicts of in­ter­est in Madon­sela’s re­port have left Eskom al­ready.

All of them had joined the board at the same time, in De­cem­ber 2014.

Nonex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Nazia Car­rim’s al­leged con­flict was that she is mar­ried to a fam­ily mem­ber of Salim Essa, the face of many Gupta fam­ily busi­ness ven­tures. She left Eskom in July this year. Eskom said her al­leged con­flict of in­ter­est was not ma­te­rial and that she had no obli­ga­tion to re­port it be­cause the in­di­rect fa­mil­ial re­la­tion­ship was not cov­ered by Eskom’s pol­icy on con­flict­ing in­ter­ests.

Nonex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor De­va­p­ush­pum Naidoo re­signed on the same day as Car­rim.

Naidoo’s con­flict arose from her mar­riage to Kuben­theran Mood­ley – an ad­viser to Min­eral Re­sources Min­is­ter Mosebenzi Zwane, who is separately ac­cused of do­ing the Gupta fam­ily’s bid­ding.

More im­por­tantly, Mood­ley is the sole di­rec­tor of a com­pany called Al­ba­time, which co-funded the Gup­tas’ ac­qui­si­tion of the Op­ti­mum coal mine.

This means that an Eskom di­rec­tor’s hus­band is a coin­vestor in the mine that the Eskom board is al­leged to have handed to the Gup­tas on a sil­ver plat­ter. Naidoo left the Eskom board on July 1 this year.

Romeo Khu­malo, an­other nonex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, had in 2013 joined a com­pany called Uriji Tech­nolo­gies.

The ever-present Essa joined him there at the same time. Khu­malo quit the Eskom board in April this year.

Mariam Cas­sim, an­other nonex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of Eskom, had one of the more ten­u­ous Gupta links – she had al­legedly worked for one of their com­pa­nies, Sa­hara Com­put­ers, in the past.

She also left the Eskom board in April this year.

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