Brown studying Eskom's latest Trillian responses

Johannesburg - Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown is studying Eskom's latest reply to her questions on the power utility's dealings with the Gupta-linked Trillian firm and unethical behaviour surrounding McKinsey.

Her spokesperson Colin Cruywagen confirmed that Brown on Tuesday night received Eskom's responses to her latest queries, after she had again set a deadline for the state utility on Friday. He said Brown noted Eskom's progress in answering her questions, and said she would soon announce more details.

Last month Brown demanded that the state utility provide more information regarding payments and business relations relating to the Gupta-linked Trillian firm.

But Eskom has been stingy with the information provided to Brown, and she has repeatedly asked the Eskom board to furnish her with more information about payments made to Trillian. The latest deadline was set after Brown met with Eskom's acting chairperson Zethembe Khoza and its acting group CEO Johnny Dladla on Friday.

She expressed her disappointment "at Eskom’s inappropriate and tardy responses” to questions about its business relationship with Trillian.

Brown had first given Eskom a deadline to clarify its business dealings with Trillian at the end of August, after asking the board in June for a report. Brown said she had had no idea that Eskom was lying about the Trillian payments.

Brown's repeated questioning comes after the Eskom board also convened a meeting at the beginning of September to resolve issues around both the Trillian and McKinsey controversies, which have been dogging the state utility for months. It compiled a report to Brown, but the minister was not satisfied with the information provided.  

Brown's ultimatum was triggered by the admission in August of Eskom head of legal Suzanne Daniels that the power utility had lied about receiving the all clear from global consultancy Oliver Wyman over payments to Trillian.

The consultancy pressured Eskom to come clean, after it initially claimed that a R1.6bn payment to Trillian and McKinsey was above board.

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