DA: Eskom lied to Minister Brown about Molefe's exit to protect itself

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown's affidavit, which was released on Friday, suggests that the Eskom board did mislead her about Brian Molefe.

FILE: Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. Picture: Gaye Davis/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it is clear the Eskom board lied to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown about former CEO Brian Molefe's departure from the power utility to protect itself.

Brown's affidavit, which was released on Friday, suggests that the Eskom board did mislead her about Molefe.

This follows weeks of turmoil at the power utility, including the resignation of board chairperson Ben Ngubane last week.

Brown has in the past backed Molefe, Ngubane and the Eskom board as the best hope for the power utility.

However, relations seem to have broken down.

Ngubane appeared on Gupta family-owned TV station ANN7 this month, calling Brown's decision to rescind Molefe's appointment a comedy of errors.

“Molefe took early retirement. The press publicised it as a resignation. The minister spoke of it as a resignation, but he didn’t resign.”

The DA’s Natasha Mazzone says Ngubane and Molefe are trying to create smokescreens to protect their alleged corruption.

“They managed to manipulate the situation to try and cover up. They have been caught and must answer up.”

Meanwhile, the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) says Brown will have to answer for the matter in Parliament.

The party says the power utility is in turmoil and the minister, as the political head, has to account.

The IFP’s Narend Singh says Brown has always come to the defence of Molefe and the Eskom board when challenged to fire them.

“We believe the buck stops with the political head. In this case, it’s Minister Lynne Brown. She always came to the defence of the board and Molefe. It’s unacceptable.”

Singh says the State of Capture report and recent developments show that there is rot in the power utility.

“There’s a lot of rot in Eskom and other state-owned enterprises in what is now known as state capture.”

With the parliamentary inquiry into Eskom set to begin this week, Singh says the committee will need additional financial and human resources to properly execute its duties.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)