Brown is unfit to be minister - OUTA

Public Enterprise Minister Lynne Brown during a meeting with Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts. (Gallo Images / Sowetan / Esa Alexander)
Public Enterprise Minister Lynne Brown during a meeting with Parliament’s standing committee on public accounts. (Gallo Images / Sowetan / Esa Alexander)

Cape Town – Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown is unfit to hold government office, OUTA chairperson Wayne Duvenage said in a statement on Thursday.

“Minister Brown’s lack of understanding and weak responses to serious developments, paints the picture of a person who had little idea of her responsibilities and the actions required of her, which essentially makes her complicit to the transgressions and an unfit candidate for the position she holds within government,” he said.

Brown testified in the Eskom Inquiry conducted by the public enterprises portfolio committee in Parliament on Wednesday.

She denied all accusations levelled against her, and criticised the inquiry for not giving people the opportunity to cross examine witnesses.

Former finance minister Pravin Gordhan retorted that her only answer to state capture allegations is "denial, denial, denial".

A fresh accusation was made by former Eskom chairperson Zola Tsotsi on Wednesday, who accused Brown of colluding with the Guptas regarding board committee chair selections.

“The consistency and correlation of input from Mr Tsotsi, when combined with that of the Eskom board spokesperson Mr Khulani Qoma and from Ms Suzanne Daniels, provides a clear overview of the same narrative of a president, a minister and numerous executive appointees aligned to a common objective to capture the state-owned entity for purpose predetermined undue enrichment programmes,” OUTA explained.

“The substantive input provided by people in senior positions within Eskom has once again highlighted the gross political meddling and interference by President (Jacob) Zuma.

“Our concerns are further substantiated by Minister Lynne Brown’s weak responses to questions and unreliable explanations of various developments during her tenure as the minister of public enterprises.  

“Accordingly, we are unconvinced that Minister Brown could have been kept in the dark or misled by her board during the substantive executive appointments and suspensions, without her scrutiny or prior knowledge of what was happening.

“This modus operandi has been exposed with similar methodologies applied at SAA, SABC, PRASA, Transnet and other state-run organisations.

“The common denominator in most of these incidents is President Zuma aided and abetted by the Gupta family members.  

“The only question that requires answering today is, knowing what they now know, will the ruling party's executive exercise sufficient moral courage to remove Jacob Zuma from their ranks, in order to stop the plundering and address the reversal of corruption within state structures?”

The inquiry was cancelled on Thursday, after Deputy Public Enterprises Minister Ben Martins cancelled his appearance as he required further documents, inquiry chairperson Zukiswa Rantho said on Wednesday.

The Presidency has yet to respond to media queries regarding accusations against Zuma.

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