December 17, 2017

‘One of us is lying’ – says Brown

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown looks as if she is walking the path to the end of her political career.

On Wednesday night, she was given a grilling by MPs – from both the ANC and the DA – at a session of the public enterprises portfolio committee of the national assembly .

Former Eskom chairperson Zola Tsotsi made the claim that Brown had attended a meeting at which a representative of the notorious Gupta boys were present. He said so before the parliamentary committee on Wednesday.

She denied being captured by the Guptas and acknowledged late on Wednesday night that Tsotsi’s claims mean that “one of us is lying… and I don’t think I am lying”.

She preceded this remark by saying: “The fact that I did not, and he says I did … means that one of us is lying.”

Former Eskom chairperson Zola Tsotsi claimed Brown was at a meeting at which a representative of the Gupta boys were present.

EWN reported that Brown had denied she knew Gupta associate Salim Essa. She suggested that she had never consulted with Tony Gupta – one of the Gupta boys – or Essa on any of her ministerial functions.

The portfolio committee is holding investigations into state capture of Eskom – an enterprise which falls under the political watch of Brown’s ministry. Brown maintained that Eskom’s leadership deliberately lied to her about the state-owned enterprise’s dealings with Trillian, a Gupta linked company.

Tsotsi earlier told MPs said that Brown was clearly associated with the Guptas. He painted a picture of an enterprise where board appointments and decisions were directed by President Jacob Zuma and the Guptas – with the assistance of Brown.

Democratic Alliance MP and the party’s public enterprises spokeswoman Natasha Mazonne pressed the Minister on why Tsotsi would lie about the matter: “Why would he lie? What purpose does he have to lie.”

EWN reported that Brown’s response was: “Did you ask him?” Mazzone said, indeed, the committee had asked him this very question.

Donwald Pressly

This article first appeared in the Cape Messenger.

Last modified on Thursday, 23 November 2017 21:07

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