Brown denies allegations of putting Molefe’s name forward for Eskom top job

Former Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has distanced herself from personally recommending former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe to the post.

FILE: Lynne Brown. Picture: Thomas Holder/Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - Former Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has distanced herself from personally recommending former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe to the post.

During her testimony at the state capture commission on Monday, Brown denied allegations of putting Molefe’s name forward for the top job at Eskom.

She said that in 2015, she went to the Presidency under the leadership of former President Jacob Zuma, to discuss the rolling blackouts and how it affected the economy and the lives of South Africans.

"And I think in my conversation with the president, and I could have said it, the president could have said it, I don’t know but Mr Molefe’s name came up."

Brown has also told the commission that she had a difficult task as first-time national minister in 2015 while managing load shedding.

The former minister also told the state capture commission that she had no direct link in appointing then-Eskom CEO Brian Molefe and CFO Anoj Singh.

The commission today heard how under Brown's leadership and her term as minister, no proper employment procedures were followed in the appointment of the two men.

"Look, chair, you must remember that we've all come through a very dark period, literally and figuratively, so Mr Molefe overwhelmed all of us."

Brown defended Molefe's appointment at the time as permanent CEO of Eskom.

"I still think that what he did in terms of the company in those first few months was actually remarkable. There are 42,000 people who work for Eskom and for the first time they've seen their CEO within a few weeks."

DIFFICULT RELATIONSHIPS

Brown said that she had a very difficult working relationship with Eskom executives during her term as minister.

While serving as minister, many Eskom executives were either suspended or resigned due to maladministration and load shedding in 2015.

Brown told the commission that she became the face of load shedding and many people had blamed her for the rolling blackouts in 2015.

She also told the commission that she didn’t have a good working relationship with Eskom executives during her term as minister.

“I told you I didn’t have an easy relationship, I don’t think I had easy relationships with lots of people. I am very forthright,” Brown explained

The former minister could not answer all the questions posed to her by evidence leader Advocate Pule Seleke.

Brown has concluded her testimony and will be given a chance to provide a revised amended affidavit to the commission within the next two weeks.

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