Let peo­ple re­ply, says Brown

Cape Times - - FRONT PAGE - Siyabonga Mkhwanazi

PUB­LIC En­ter­prises Min­is­ter Lynne Brown has promised that those who lied to her about R600 mil­lion paid to Tril­lian will be charged at Eskom.

Brown also warned Par­lia­ment against turn­ing the in­quiry into state cap­ture into a “kan­ga­roo court” by not giv­ing rel­e­vant peo­ple an op­por­tu­nity to re­spond to al­le­ga­tions of state cap­ture.

Brown’s state­ment came af­ter Eskom spokesper­son Khu­lani Qoma ac­cused her of ly­ing.

Deputy Min­is­ter of Pub­lic En­ter­prises Ben Martins also joined Brown in con­demn­ing the in­quiry and said it was un­fair.

But the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on pub­lic en­ter­prises said it would pro­vide all im­pli­cated par­ties an op­por­tu­nity to re­spond to al­le­ga­tions.

In a state­ment Martins said he was also speak­ing on be­half of his boss, Brown.

Brown said Par­lia­ment must give them an op­por­tu­nity to re­spond.

“By fail­ing to sub­scribe to fun­da­men­tal con­sti­tu­tional prin­ci­ples such as af­ford­ing peo­ple the right to re­ply, or to dis­tin­guish be­tween hearsay and fac­tual ev­i­dence, the in­quiry takes the form of a kan­ga­roo court in­tent on reach­ing pre­de­ter­mined out­comes,” said Brown.

“In con­clu­sion, let me state un­equiv­o­cally that I do not take in­struc­tions from any­body.

“If truth be told, Eskom of­fi­cials in­ten­tion­ally mis­led me on the Tril­lian mat­ter and the act­ing chair­per­son (Zethembe Khoza) has as­sured me that those re­spon­si­ble will be charged by the com­pany,” said Brown.

This came af­ter Qoma ac­cused Brown of ly­ing about the con­tin­u­ing woes at the power util­ity com­pany.

Qoma’s at­tack on Brown came a day af­ter Eskom ad­mit­ted that it was broke and needs bil­lions of rand to get out of fi­nan­cial trouble.

Eskom said it has R1.2 bil­lion left in its re­serves af­ter it used up R20bn.

Martins said the in­quiry has not given any­one an op­por­tu­nity to re­spond to the al­le­ga­tions made by sev­eral wit­nesses.

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