Brown tells Zondo commission she lives a modest life, not a lavish one

She claims while in local government, 29 of the 30 municipalities she worked in received clean audits and she was known as a corruption buster.

Former Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown testifies via video link at the state capture commission on 19 March 2021. Picture: YouTube screengrab/SABC.

JOHANNESBURG – Former Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown said she and her family went through a difficult time when she was attacked because of allegations that she was one of the architects of state capture.

Brown said there were those who believed she lived a lavish life, but she insisted she lived a modest one and drove the same car.

She said she hoped appearing at the state capture commission on Friday would set the record straight. Brown has taken the stand via video link at the state capture commission.

She claims while in local government, 29 of the 30 municipalities she worked in received clean audits and she was known as a corruption buster.

Brown said on her first international trip to Kenya with former President Jacob Zuma, she received questions from former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, but she never incorporated her answers because her term had expired, and she left office.

“I think the text actually came to where it dealt with personal matters and dealt with people who had nothing to do with my work – family, friends. If I were to read everything in the newspapers I wouldn’t be surprised if any of you thought that I was living in a palace with a couple of sports cars in my basement.”

Evidence leader advocate Pule Seleka said Brown would be asked about her appointment, her relations with the Guptas and Salim Essa.

She would also be quizzed about her involvement in the suspension of Eskom executives and firing of board members.

“We will ask Ms Brown to touch on whether or not she had any dealings or relations with the Gupta brothers and or Mr Salim Essa. We will deal with the suspension of the executives.”

CLOSE SOME STATE-OWNED ENTERPRISES

Brown said that government could no longer run all the 720 state-owned companies and believed that some of them should be closed down.

She said she and other ministers in that portfolio had failed to end corruption in SOEs because there was no step in policy to enable oversight, procurement was completely decentralised and anyone could spend money with no accountability.

Brown shared her views with Zondo: “I’m not saying they must be privatised but there are 720 state-owned enterprises of which, some we don’t feel and don’t know they exist. They don’t affect our lives.”

WATCH: State Capture Inquiry - Former Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown testifies

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