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Brown: Eskom liars will be charged

Nov 14 2017 15:55
Yolandi Groenewald

Johannesburg - Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown says Eskom officials who misled her about state capture at the state utility should be charged.

Reacting to Eskom board spokesperson Khulani Qoma’s testimony in Parliament on Tuesday, Brown said Eskom officials intentionally misled her on the Trillian matter.

Qoma accused Brown of interfering to prevent the suspension of then interim CEO Matshela Koko by the Eskom board earlier this year after the controversial Gupta family asked her to do so. Koko has been a central figure in the state capture allegations heard at the Parliamentary inquiry.

But in her scathing statement, Brown stated “unequivocally” that she did not take instructions from anybody.

“The acting [Eskom] chairperson has assured me that those responsible will be charged by the company,” Brown said.

Brown requested that Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises be even-handed and allow those who have been accused by selected witnesses an opportunity to state their positions at the inquiry. 

“Unless the Parliamentary inquiry into allegations of malfeasance at state owned companies gives those who have been accused of wrongdoing the opportunity to explain their actions it will serve no higher function than advancing political agendas and further undermining the economy,” she said.

Brown echoed Ben Martins' statement earlier on Tuesday calling for fairness. She said the swirl of allegations that have enveloped them must be investigated and set right.

“But for the Parliamentary inquiry to contribute to the promotion of justice and restoration of state owned companies’ credibility requires more than recording the uncontested, hearsay narratives of a selected line-up of witnesses – while excluding other voices.”

“By failing to subscribe to fundamental constitutional principles such as affording people the right to reply – or to distinguish between hearsay and factual evidence – the inquiry takes the form of a kangaroo court intent on reaching pre-determined outcomes."

In a statement on Tuesday afternoon, the committee said it welcomed Qoma's presentation, but added that "individuals whose names are mentioned and are implicated during the inquiry, will be afforded an opportunity to come and appear before the inquiry".

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eskom  |  ben martins  |  lynne brown


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