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Minister Brown denies knowing Gupta associate Salim Essa

MPs grilled Brown for several hours about Zola Tsotsi's claim that she is clearly associated with the Guptas.

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

CAPE TOWN - Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has denied she knows Gupta associate Salim Essa, suggesting that former Eskom chairperson Zola Tsotsi is lying when he claimed he met with Essa and Tony Gupta at the minister’s home.

Brown told lawmakers that she’s never consulted with Gupta or Essa on any of her ministerial functions.

The minister used her appearance before Parliament’s Public Enterprises portfolio committee on Wednesday night to distance herself from any wrongdoing at the power utility and she maintains that Eskom deliberately lied to her about the parastatal’s dealings with Trillian.

MPs grilled Brown for several hours about Zola Tsotsi's claim that she is clearly associated with the Guptas.

DA MP Natasha Mazzone: "Why would he lie? What purpose does he have to lie?"

To which Brown responded: "Did you ask him?"

Mazzone fired back that they did.

"We did. We said to him 'why would you lie?' He said to us, 'I'm not lying, this is what happened.'"

EFF MP Floyd Shivambu also pressed Brown on the issue after she denied knowing Essa.

"So what you've just said, is that the truth?"

Again and again, the minister denied Tsotsi’s allegations.

Brown says she’s aware of circumstantial evidence of malfeasance at Eskom and that a comprehensive investigation will get to the bottom of the rot.

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