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.

South Africa is NOT for sale

Note to Editors: The following speech was delivered in Parliament today by DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises, Natasha Mazzone MP, during the Budget Vote on Public Enterprises.
House Chairperson, Members of Parliament, Ladies and Gentlemen, Good Afternoon.
Today I dedicate my 2017 budget vote speech to the brave men and women of South Africa, who, despite facing tremendous pressure, potential job loss and alienation from certain sectors, have boldly spoken out against and exposed corruption, state capture, nepotism, cronyism and mismanagement.
To you all, I say thank you on behalf of South Africa for your determination to look after the South African coffers, and for your relentless patriotism in the face of serious opposition from the highest echelons of power.
Your names will go down in history as true South African heroes.
Our state owned entities are not just in a state of chaos, they are in fact in a state of capture.
Every single morning, another scandal breaks in the media. If we are not dealing with Gupta associated businesses being given tenders, we are dealing with children of employees being given multi-million rand deals or, most recently, resignations … no wait, retirements … no wait … retrenchments … no wait … re-appointments of inept CEOs.
The Public Protector has certainly had her hands full with the DA requesting multiple investigations into issues within the SOEs.
We have asked the Public Protector to probe revelations in the unfolding nepotism scandal at Eskom involving the acting CEO, Matshela Koko, and his stepdaughter Koketso Choma, and a R1.7 million donation that was paid from Choma’s company to the ANC.
The DA has asked the Public Protector to include this new, shocking allegation of a massive donation to the ANC, into an already established investigation into Koko and Choma as requested by the DA in March 2017.
It now appears that, not only did Koko allegedly improperly award tenders worth R1 billion to Impulse International, a company of which his stepdaughter is a Director, when he was head of Eskom’s Generation Unit, but the arrangement was used as a conduit to siphon money to the ANC.
The Public Protector must now investigate and expose what the relationship between Koko, Choma, Impulse and the ANC really is.
It is totally unacceptable that so much public money was allegedly improperly directed toward a family member of the acting CEO of Eskom, only to land in the hands of the ANC!
This latest revelation, including the intimidation of journalists who have exposed this scandal, shows the lengths to which those with much to hide are willing to go to cover up.
Eskom has been reluctant to release the Denton Report that contains details of widespread corruption at the parastatal, and it seems that corruption scandals are only increasing under the current leadership.
The DA welcomed Public Enterprises Minister, Lynn Brown’s, rejection of an exorbitant and unjustified R30 million golden handshake “pension” payout to the disgraced Brian Molefe.
Indeed, after leaving Eskom under the most swirling clouds of state capture allegations, and close collusion with the Guptas, and then being rewarded with an ANC seat as a Member of Parliament, Mr. Molefe does not deserve one further cent from the public purse.
Our joy, however, was very short lived, as we soon learned of the return of Brian Molefe to Eskom.
This was a monumental disaster for the power utility, which is currently in a dire state of affairs and is surrounded by a wave of Gupta-linked corruption allegations as a result of Molefe’s tenure.
The return of Molefe to Eskom will see the Gupta hand return to the power utility, and most likely to the forthcoming nuclear procurement deal.
This South Africa cannot accept.
It was clear in the Public Protector’s damning State of Capture Report that Molefe was seriously compromised in his position at Eskom. He, himself, cited the interests of corporate good governance as the reason for him leaving Eskom.
The State of Capture Report details the close relationship between Molefe and the Guptas and how key decisions were taken by Molefe, as the head of Eskom, for the ultimate benefit of the Guptas and at the expense of the people of South Africa.
Specifically, Molefe called Ajay Gupta a total of 44 times and Ajay Gupta called Molefe a total of 14 times in 8 months. Molefe can further be placed in the Saxonwold area on 19 occasions between August 2015 and November 2015.
Importantly, the criminal charges that I laid against Molefe still stand and I trust are being actively investigated by the South African Police Service.
The ANC themselves came out and said that Molefe is unfit to return to Eskom as his name has not been cleared.
This is somewhat ironic given that he was, just the other day, on their own Parliamentary back benches.
South Africa deserves to know the truth behind the many scandals currently engulfing Eskom.
The damning allegations by the former Minister of Mineral Resources, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, that Eskom’s then CEO Brian Molefe and Chairperson Ben Ngubane tried to force him to withdraw Glencore’s Optimum mining licences in a bid to help the Gupta’s takeover Glencore’s coal mines, are astounding and deserve a full scale investigation as part of the Parliamentary inquiry into Eskom which the DA has requested.
I am most pleased that the Committee on Public Enterprises has stood firm and has agreed that a full parliamentary investigation begin into the shenanigans at Eskom.
Chairperson, I advised the Minister on Tuesday, and I will repeat myself today, suspend the Board of Eskom with immediate effect. Send a full team from Public Enterprises to Megawatt park and collect all the documents pertaining to the reappointment of Brian Molefe as well as all documents related to alleged corruption charges so that we know they are safe and are unable to be destroyed.
Denel has had their fair share of scandals involving of course, the family that is causing chaos in our state owned enterprises (SOEs) and our country, the Guptas.
To this end, Denel will be called to appear before the committee together with National Treasury so that once and for all, we can get to the bottom of capture allegations. Perhaps the next the time they appear, they will be better prepared to answer our many questions.
South Africa is NOT for sale. Our SOEs cannot be bought by the Gupta family with the help of Number One.
As the web of state capture starts to unravel, so will the stranglehold that this unwelcome family has over our country.
It is now the time to put a stop to this corruption and capture and the DA is the only party that can bring an end to the crisis the ANC-government has created at the SOEs.
When the DA comes into national government in 2019, we will ensure that our SOEs work for our people and bring an end to the scourge of corruption that has manifested under ANC governance.
South Africa is NOT for sale, NOT on our watch!

Dodging ANC minister, Lynne Brown, cannot hide behind sub judice

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown’s outrageous about turn regarding her appearance before Parliament’s extraordinary Public Enterprises Committee meeting tomorrow, is a damning indictment on her waning credibility as a Minister and is yet another example of the all too common practice of ANC ministers dodging accountability.
Yesterday the committee was informed that the Minister will no longer appear before Parliament to account for the shocking reappointment of Brian Molefe as Eskom CEO, as the Department believes that the matter is sub judice.
However, Parliament’s legal opinion stated that the sub judice rule does not necessarily apply to this extraordinary sitting, so long as the committee does not delve into the rationality of Brian Molefe’s appointment.
Parliament can and must still play a vital oversight role alongside court processes.
There are still many important questions regarding governance failures, the processes that allowed for Molefe’s early retirement and the decisions around the R30 million pay-out for which we, and all South Africans, deserve answers.
Parliament can investigate these despite the current court challenge.
It is becoming increasingly clear that Minister Brown is hiding behind the sub judice rule to avoid being held accountable for the catastrophic redeployment of Molefe and her apparent failure at the helm of her department.
It is unacceptable that Parliament is letting her do so. Parliament has the power to summon the Minister and must exercise this power on behalf of all South Africans.
The DA Deputy Chief Whip, Mike Waters MP, raised the attempted cancellation and was given the assurance by ANC Chief Whip, Jackson Mthembu MP, as well as ANC Deputy Chief Whip, Dorries Dlakude MP, that they would engage on the matter but the meeting would continue as scheduled.
Under Lynne Brown’s watch, good governance practices have completely collapsed at Eskom and corruption has been allowed to fester with impunity.
The recent revelations that Brown allegedly mislead Parliament when she failed to disclose if there had been contracts of engagement between Eskom and Trillian, a company owned by the Guptas, is perfect evidence of this.
The DA will, therefore, refer these allegations to the Public Protector for investigation and will also ensure that the Trillion matter forms part of the broader investigation by Parliament into Eskom.
It now appears that the Minister has ties to the Gupta’s and is seemingly blocking Molefe’s removal as Eskom CEO.
It is time for Parliament to perform proper oversight and hold the Minister and the board accountable for the mess at Eskom, as the President has shown his unwillingness to do so because his priorities lie with the self-interest, not with the people of South Africa.

Eskom R1 billion nepotism report must be tabled before parliament

The DA will today write to Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown, to request that the final report into Eskom CEO Matshela Koko’s alleged R1 billion nepotism scandal be tabled before Parliament. Eskom accounts to Parliament, and a scandal of such enormous proportions, directly implicating the CEO, deserves serious consideration by Parliament.
According to media reports last month, Eskom CEO Matshela Koko allegedly awarded tenders worth R1 billion to Impulse International, a company of which his step-daughter is a Director.
The report has now been finalised and must be tabled in Parliament.
The nepotism scandal alleged against Mr Koko, points to a type of nepotism of the highest order. Koko’s absurd explanation (that he was unaware that his stepdaughter was involved with Impulse International) brings into question his ability to lead Eskom, and his very integrity.
Minister Lynne Brown has for too long allowed the rot of corruption to fester at Eskom and other parastatals, and it is now up to Parliament to exercise oversight and hold those responsible for looting to account.
Under the ANC’s governance, state-owned enterprises have become a hotspot for looting. However, the DA will continue to fight against the endemic corruption in the public sector. Parastatals should work for the people, not as a tool of patronage.