Brown un­der fire from Qoma

The Citizen (Gauteng) - - NEWS -

Pub­lic En­ter­prises Min­is­ter Lynne Brown took in­struc­tions from the Gupta brothers and or­dered the Eskom board not to sus­pend Mat­shela Koko as CEO of the power util­ity, a wit­ness yes­ter­day told the par­lia­men­tary in­quiry into the com­pany.

Khu­lani Qoma, the now sus­pended spokesper­son for the Eskom board, said he had ear­lier this year urged chair­man Zethembe Khoza to sus­pend Koko be­cause of the rep­u­ta­tional dam­age he be­lieved was be­ing in­flicted on the com­pany.

Qoma said Khoza agreed fairly read­ily that it should be done, but cau­tioned that for­mer chair­man Ben Ngubane had also wanted to move against Koko, but was blocked by the min­is­ter.

“He tells me be­cause Min­is­ter Brown is cap­tured, Min­is­ter Brown re­ports to the Gup­tas and then he tells me about the new board mem­bers. He says on June 23, which would have been the date of the AGM, four board mem­bers are go­ing to be an­nounced and those board mem­bers have been ap­pointed by the Gup­tas,” Qoma told the par­lia­men­tary in­quiry con­ducted by the port­fo­lio com­mit­tee on pub­lic en­ter­prises.

He said Khoza then switched to Zulu and added that the board mem­bers were so young that they looked like school chil­dren.

“He then tells me that ac­tu­ally Dr Ngubane came very close to sus­pend­ing Koko, but was stopped in his tracks by Min­is­ter Brown.”

He said Ngubane had per­suaded the rest of the board that this was the cor­rect course of ac­tion. Koko had al­ready left the of­fice for the day and was sum­moned back.

But the Gupta brothers were called to in­form them of the de­ci­sion and they called Brown, who in turn called Ngubane and or­dered him not to do it, Qoma added.

Qoma was scathing of Brown’s track record as pub­lic en­ter­prises min­is­ter and of her claims that she was un­aware or had been lied to about key events in Eskom’s tur­bu­lent af­fairs.

He said it was Khoza who first put it to him that the min­is­ter was “cap­tured”, but his ob­ser­va­tions had borne out the the­ory that she was en­tan­gled in the deal­ings be­tween Eskom man­age­ment and the Gup­tas.

“She has gone to the ends of the earth to say she is not wet, yet she is right in the mid­dle of the wa­ter,” said Qoma.

“The prob­lem here is the min­is­ter. The min­is­ter needs to sit here and ac­count be­cause this mess would not have been pos­si­ble if she was ca­pa­ble. She is to­tally in­ca­pable,” he said. – ANA

She has gone to the ends of the earth to say she is not wet, yet she is right in the mid­dle of the wa­ter. Khu­lani Qoma Eskom board’s sus­pended spokesper­son

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