DA to refer Brown to Public Protector over Eskom tenders

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. (Photo: Matthew le Cordeur)
Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. (Photo: Matthew le Cordeur)

Cape Town - The DA on Sunday said it would refer Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown to the office of the Public Protector, after the Sunday Times reported that Eskom had awarded tenders to a company co-owned by her partner.  

DA spokesperson for public enterprises Natasha Mazzone said in a statement on Sunday the party would also refer Brown to Parliament’s ethics oversight committee.

This after the Sunday Times reported that state power utility Eskom awarded two contracts worth a combined R1.2m to E Smart Solutions, a company owned by Brown’s romantic partner Ingrid Tufvesson, and two family members of Brown’s former personal assistant.

Tufvesson is an academic and transformation consultant.

Mazzone said that Brown had seemingly allowed her personal relationships to influence the awarding of contracts. 

On Sunday Brown’s spokesperson Colin Cruywagen referred Fin24 to E Smart Solutions for comment. Fin24 could not reach the company. 

Oil tender 

According to the Sunday Times, while E Smart Solutions was registered do deal with academic projects, the two contracts awarded to it were to supply oil to transformers at 10 Eskom power stations. 

Tufvesson told the newspaper she had resigned from the company on Friday, as it would not let her access its internal documents. 

In a statement issued on Sunday afternoon, she said had not earned anything from any Eskom related deals or contracts from eSmart Solutions.

She said she had tried to resign from the company in 2016, and eventually resigned on Friday 13 October. 

Investigative journalism organisations Scorpio and AmaBhungane previously reported that the name of another company where Tufvesson is a director had surfaced in the #GuptaLeaks. 

In a joint article in early August they wrote that Tufvesson is a director of Sores OMS, which shared two directors (one has resigned) associated with the Gupta family. 

Tufvesson denied any link to the Guptas, saying she “never met them personally, have not had any dealings with them, and have not been approached in any way, shape or form on their behalf”.

Update, Oct. 15, 2017, at 4:23 p.m.: This article has been updated to reflect Tufvesson's response. 

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