Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown spent seven hours Wednesday denying ever meeting with the Guptas and their associates, her role in suspending four executives and business ventures of her alleged partner with Eskom. She was answering questions during the ongoing probe into state capture at Eskom by Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises.
Former Eskom chairperson chairperson Zola Tsotsi claims that Tony Gupta warned him that he was not helping them at Eskom and therefore his job was at risk.
This was about two days before President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address in February 2015.
“I was approached by Tony Gupta who requested that we meet,” Tsotsi told Parliament’s state capture inquiry into Eskom on Wednesday.
“At the meeting, Tony told me ‘chairman, you are not helping us with anything. We are the ones who put you in the position you are in. We are the ones who can take you out!’
“My response was ‘Do what you have to do, and let me carry on with the job that the Cabinet appointed me to do!’ So ended that meeting.”
Earlier that day, he said Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown had called him to a meeting.
“At this meeting, she stated as follows: ‘chairman, I have received complaints from management and board members that you are interfering in management. Please refrain from doing so, because if you don’t, I shall have to find someone else to do your job!’
“My response was, ‘minister, most board members hardly know what I look like, let alone not having worked with me yet. As for management, if scrutinising their decisions and behaviour and calling them to account constitutes interference with management, then I will happily continue doing so. If you had acceded to my request that we have regular briefing sessions, even this meeting would not have been necessary’.
“Where upon the minister responded by saying, ‘chairperson, you go and do what you have to do, I will go and do what I have to, there is no reason for you and I to talk about anything.’ That is how the meeting ended. “It is at this time that I felt that some sinister clouds are gathering because the coincidence of the two events was not lost on me.” (Fin24)