Qoma: Lynne Brown is an ‘atrocious’ minister who appointed 'compromised execs'

Eskom’s board spokesperson Khulani Qoma has accused Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown of repeatedly lying to the public.

FILE: Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Eskom’s board spokesperson has accused Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown of repeatedly lying to the public.

Khulani Qoma has on Tuesday told parliamentarians investigating allegations of state capture that Brown is an “atrocious” minister who appointed “compromised executives” and took irrational decisions that have affected Eskom’s reputation.

Brown has since responded with a statement reminding lawmakers to be “even-handed” in their probe by allowing her and others implicated an opportunity to respond.

She says unless those accused of wrongdoing are given a chance to respond, the inquiry will serve no higher function than to advance political agendas.

Brown says by failing to give people the right to reply to allegations, or by failing to distinguish between hearsay and fact, the inquiry risks coming across as a kangaroo court.

Qoma told Parliament’s Public Enterprises Portfolio committee about his meeting with interim board chairperson Zethembe Khoza on 17 June 2017.

At that meeting, he sought to convince Khoza to get rid of senior executives, Matshela Koko and Anoj Singh, both of whom were attracting bad press.

Khoza, Qoma claims, told him it was unlikely that Brown would support his proposal because she was “captured” and reported to the controversial Gupta brothers.

“If she’s not captured she has to convince us because she appears to be totally captured.”

Qoma, who was hired to manage Eskom’s reputation, says an earlier attempt by former chairperson Ben Ngubane to suspend Koko was scuppered when one of the Gupta brothers allegedly instructed Brown to intervene.

Brown has hit back, saying she does not take instructions from anybody.

The minister claims she was intentionally misled by Eskom officials with regards to the parastatal’s dealings with Trillian, a company formerly run by Gupta associate Salim Essa.

Her deputy, Ben Martins, has also flagged procedural flaws in Parliament’s handling of the investigation into Eskom.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)