The Minister of Public Enterprises Ms Lynne Brown refuted allegations levelled against her by former Eskom board Chairperson Mr Zola Tsotsi that she had met and had dealings with the Gupta family. I have never consulted with anyone on my executive functions, not Tony Gupta or Salim Essa or anyone else, she said.

Why would I hand over functions to anyone else? As far as the board appointments I report to cabinet, and cabinet decides who serves on the boards, she said.

Minister Brown appeared before the Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises on Wednesday (22 November). The Committee is conducting an inquiry on Eskom into the mismanagement of state funds in State Owned Enterprises.

On the appointment of Mr Brian Molefe, Minister Brown said Mr Molefe brought cohesion to the executive team, built staff morale and helped develop a clear plan on reviving public and investor confidence in Eskom. He also provided assurance to the war room, and cabinet on improving Eskom plant performance and addressing load-shedding.

Minister Brown said it was regrettable that during the course of the inquiry members of the Committee did not take the opportunity to obtain more details from Ms Suzanne Daniels wearing both her hats as head of legal and company secretary on the subject of Mr Brian Molefe's pension benefits and departure from Eskom.

Regarding Trillian, she told the Committee that Eskom deliberately lied to her. She became aware about Trillian through a parliamentary question which was then followed by media reports.

It was a matter within the authority of the board of Eskom and its executives, in line with governance framework within Eskom.

In her statement, Minister Brown said she is aware of circumstantial evidence of malfeasance at some of the State-Owned Companies.

The Committee resolved to call more witnesses to be part on the inquiry so that individuals will be given an opportunity to present their side of the story.

Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa