DA does not buy Minister Brown’s Trillian excuse

The DA notes Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown’s claim that she did “not know” that Eskom was lying about its relationship with the Gupta-linked Trillian.
The Minister’s comments come after Eskom suddenly made a U-turn on Monday after it initially claimed that the R1.6 billion it had paid to Trillian and Mckinsey was above board.
The DA simply does not buy the Minister’s poor excuse. “I didn’t know” is not good enough and as the Minister of Public Enterprises, she should have known.
It is becoming increasingly clear that the Minister is failing at her job as shareholder representative. Under her watch, dodgy dealings at Eskom for the benefit of the Guptas, have become a common practice.
The DA finds the Minister’s sudden revelations rather suspicious considering that she had allegedly misled Parliament when she seemingly failed to reveal if there had been any existing contracts of engagement between Eskom and Trillian, in a written reply to a DA parliamentary question.
Minister Brown needs to stop digging deeper holes for herself and lay bare what she knows or come clean as to who lied to her.
All those involved in Eskom’s latest scandal must be held to account. These include the Minister, under whose watch this happened, and the suspended Eskom CFO, Anoj Singh, who not only facilitated Eskom’s procurement of these contracts but also allegedly orchestrated the power utility’s lies when this scandal came to light.
The DA has already laid charges against Anoj Singh regarding his work as a Gupta henchmen at Eskom, and we have also reported the Minister to the Public Protector.
The DA will ensure that this Trillian saga is duly investigated at the upcoming Eskom Inquiry.

New leaked emails show up Eskom CFO as a Gupta proxy

The DA will be submitting an affidavit to the South African Police Service to include Mr Anoj Singh, the current Eskom CFO, in the charges of corruption and racketeering the DA laid on Tuesday 30 May against President Jacob Zuma, members of the Gupta family, several cabinet ministers and senior executives of State Owned Entities.
A chain of leaked emails in the DA’s possession reveal that Singh was whisked off on at least four suspiciously-timed Gupta-funded trips to Dubai during the period Transnet awarded a R1.8 billion tender to Neotel, resulting in a R36 million kickback to a Gupta company.
Singh was the Transnet CFO at the time.
The email chain indicates that under then-Transnet CEO Brian Molefe, Singh travelled to Dubai on at least four occasions while this R1.8 billion contract was awarded to the Gupta’s preferred bidder, Neotel.
Each trip appears to have been fully paid for by Gupta-owned company, Sahara Computers, which included five-star luxury accommodation at the Oberoi Hotel.
It was clear that the Guptas needed Neotel to win the contract as Gupta-run company, Homix, had a deal in place with Neotel agreeing to secure the contract with Transnet for them in exchange for the payment of 2% of the value of the contract – which totalled a kickback of R36 million.
This was the second agreement Homix and Neotel had struck, with the previous kickback resulting in a R30 million profit for the Guptas.
The timeline of Mr. Singh’s Dubai trips is as follows:

  • 6 – 9 June 2014: Singh travelled to stay at the Oberoi Hotel in Dubai with Rajesh (Tony) Gupta. This was during the time where the bidding process was open, and no preferred bidder accepted. (See booking confirmation here).
  • 7 – 12 August 2014: Singh travelled again to the Oberoi Hotel in Dubai. It seems not just coincidence that it was during this month that Transnet notified Neotel that it was the new preferred bidder. (See booking confirmation here).
  • 7 – 9 November 2014: Singh travels to Dubai again, staying at the Oberoi Hotel once more. Weeks later, Neotel was awarded the contract concerned, worth R 1.8 billion, and paid Homix the amount of R 41 million. (See booking confirmation here).
  • 24 – 26 February 2015: Once the R36 million was successfully paid to the Guptas, Anoj Singh was treated to a celebratory luxury trip to Dubai, once again in the five-star Oberoi, on the Guptas’ tab. (See booking confirmation here).

It is our view that this revelation directly implicates Mr. Singh, and as such charges must be brought against him. It is also impossible that this arrangement took place without Brian Molefe being aware.
This revelation shows quite vividly how the Jacob Zuma state capture project has infected all spheres of the state, and corrupt individuals are working to ensure a small group of connected individuals become rich. We will not stop until every individual involved in the capture of our state is brought to book.
Zuma and his friends cannot continue to steal from our people. We must earnestly focus South Africa towards building a prosperous nation, where jobs can be created for all.