Inquiry at risk of being a ‘kangaroo court’, says Brown
PUBLIC enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has said parliament’s inquiry into state capture runs the risk of becoming a “kangaroo court” after it heard testimony that she was a liar, an “atrocious minister” and responsible for the problems in Eskom.
Eskom board spokesman Khulani Qoma did not hold back as he testified in the public enterprises committee inquiry on Tuesday that Brown was surrounded by captured individuals but tried to convince people that she herself was not.
“Minister Brown has gone to the end of the world telling us she is not wet, but she is right in the midst of water. Her DG is captured, her PA is captured, obviously her lover has interests at Eskom. “Minister Brown lies, she lies all the time and she thinks we can’t see it. He added: “This Minister needs to sit here and account because this mess would not have been possible if she was a capable minister.”
He detailed how earlier this year, following severe damage to Eskom’s corporate image, former board chairman Dr Ben Ngubane “came close to suspending acting CEO Matshela Koko” but said he was stopped at the eleventh hour by Brown. Qoma said that on the day in question, Koko had been called back to Eskom and Ngubane had met with the board to discuss his suspension. However, “Mr [Zethemba] Khoza told me that he snuck out and made a call to a G-brother – which I understood to mean a Gupta brother”.
He said the Guptas had called Brown, who called Ngubane and halted the suspension.
Qoma said Khoza had told him that “Minister Brown is captured” and that four new board members would be appointed by the Guptas.
Brown said in her statement issued after the testimony that the inquiry had to give right of response to all those implicated or risk becoming a “kangaroo court”.
In a statement issued earlier in the day, Deputy Public Enterprises Minister Ben Martins also raised concerns about the manner in which the hearings were being conducted.
That statement said Brown had written three letters regarding the inquiry, raising procedural issues, “the evidence leader’s conflicted role” and his “failure to act ethically”. This was because testimony was allowed that implicated people without advising those people that they would be implicated, thereby “violating their human dignity”.