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Lynne Brown expects Eskom to meet Trillian report deadline

The utility’s board met on Wednesday to discuss a plan to deal with those who lied about payments made to Trillian.

FILE: Lynne Brown. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Eskom has a few hours left to meet its deadline to hand over a report to Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown detailing its relationship with Gupta-linked Trillian.

Eskom had claimed that payments of R1.6 billion to Trillian and consultancy firm McKinsey were above board but then told the Business Day that a New York based firm had, in fact, red flagged these transactions and recommended a legal review of the contracting process.

The utility’s board met on Wednesday to discuss a plan to deal with those who lied about payments made to Trillian, saying it will pursue charges against those responsible.

Brown says she expects an explanation.

“I expect them to make the deadline. I’m sure about that.”

It’s unclear if the minister will make this report public.

Meanwhile, Brown said that she didn’t know that Eskom was lying about its relationship with Trillian Capital Holdings.

Minister Brown was before Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on Wednesday morning where SA Express was explaining its irregular, wasteful and fruitless expenditure.

But it was the Trillian matter that journalists wanted to know about as Brown was leaving the meeting.

Brown, however, was monosyllabic.

When asked whether she knew about the lies, Brown responded: “No.”

Asked what steps she planned to take if Eskom did not provide her with an explanation, Brown said: “Well, I expect them to make the deadline.”

In June, Brown requested that Eskom’s board clarify issues about its relationship with Trillian.

The utility claimed that the Oliver Wyman firm found that payments to Trillian and McKinsey were all above board but now say this wasn't the case.

Eskom has been defending its actions and those of suspended CFO Anoj Singh for some time, trying to distance itself from any links to the Gupta family.

But now as evidence mounts, the utility will have to come clean about why money was paid to companies linked to the family and for what purpose.

She said she hasn’t yet decided whether to make the Eskom report public.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)