EDITORIAL: Minister, are you aware of what's going on?

2017-09-03 06:02
Lynne Brown

Lynne Brown

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In April, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown rejected a R30m pension payout to Eskom’s former CEO, Brian Molefe, because there was no justification for it.

This was after the board had written to Brown to approve the payout to Molefe, who “voluntarily” left Eskom in November, after he was implicated in the Public Protector’s State of Capture report.

Clearly, for the board to seek a payout for Molefe months later should have been enough reason for Brown to question the board’s bona fides in the matter.

This week, Eskom admitted to lying when it defended making R1.6bn in payments to a Gupta-linked company, Trillian, and consultancy company McKinsey, without a contract.

This comes three months after Eskom defended the payments and claimed that global consultancy Oliver Wyman found all payments were “based on prudent costs incurred and value created”.

We all know this is a lie, which Brown fell for – again.

It begs the question as to how Brown, as the shareholder representative, is doing her job of overseeing the power utility.

Ministers have a host of support staff around them. They have access to the office of the state law adviser. Why was no homework done?

Brown has been found wanting before. She slept through the Gupta raid on Eskom, which has gone on for most of her tenure.

She slept through the Guptas’ capture of state arms manufacturer Denel.

She conveniently claimed ignorance when red flags were being raised in the media and by her colleagues in other arms of government.

We know Brown to be a person of integrity and one of those politicians who still retains the ethos of the mass democratic movement.

But when these heists keep happening on her watch, the question needs to be asked: Is she deliberately turning a blind eye to keep her job?

Read more on:    eskom  |  brian molefe  |  lynne brown  |  state capture

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