Minister Lynne Brown 'captured' by the Guptas, #EskomInquiry hears

PHILL MAGAKOE via Getty Images

PHILL MAGAKOE via Getty Images

The DA will now write to the chairwoman of the public enterprises portfolio committee to urgently call Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown, as well as the CEO, chief operating officer, interim chief financial officer and chairman of the Eskom board, to present an accurate picture of the financial situation Eskom finds itself in and its plan to move it out of its liquidity crisis.

Qoma said Ngubane had later confirmed to him Khoza's narrative, and "that he indeed received a call from Minister Brown to not go ahead with the suspension".

Qoma said Khoza then switched to Zulu and added that the board members were so young that they looked like school children.

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He said Ngubane had persuaded the rest of the board that this was the correct course of action. "I understood that to mean a Gupta brother". Khoza had told a "G-brother" of the impending suspension and he had, in turn, contacted Brown, who stopped Koko's suspension.

Qoma was scathing of Brown's track record as public enterprises minister and of her claims that she was unaware or had been lied to about key events in Eskom's turbulent affairs.

According to Khulani Qoma: "Her (Brown's) DG is captured, her PA is captured, obviously her lover's interest at Eskom, and then you have Transnet, Eskom and Denel people who are captured". This Minister needs to sit here and account because this mess would not have been possible if she was a capable minister. "She is totally incompetent".

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Qoma wanted to know‚ too‚ why the Eskom board had tried so hard to keep suspended financial director Anoj Singh in his job‚ after he had been suspended. The relationship between the chairman and the former CEO could be illustrated, he said, by Ngubane's decision to drop in on him to see how he was doing after he was forced out of the company shortly after Brown allowed him to return as CEO.

His report stated that Eskom's corporate arrogance was "costing South Africa" and he warned that Molefe and Koko should not be allowed near the energy utility.

The latest Eskom financial report presented to the government shows that the power utility will have only R1.2bn in its cash reserves at the end of November. It was also at Singh's insistence that journalist Chris Yelland was blacklisted from Eskom's information systems, he told the committee.

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