Brown insists she never lied about Brian Molefe – says she will order her own Eskom probe
Thabo Mokone | 2017-05-25 15:21:56.0
Public enterprises minister Lynne Brown. File photo.
Image by: SIMPHIWE NKWALI
Public enterprises minister Lynne Brown has insisted that she has not lied to parliament after the ANC said her submission to the legislature on the reappointment of Eskom CEO Brian Molefe amounted to perjury.
Brown said on Tuesday she was ready to defend her stance on Molefe to the ANC while she announced that she’s instituted her own forensic probe into allegations of corruption at Eskom‚ which would be headed by a retired judge and would probe transactions going back 10 years.
The ANC issued a hard-hitting statement against Brown and the Eskom board of directors on Tuesday‚ after they told parliament that Molefe had not resigned but had been on unpaid leave when he took up the position of ANC MP.
The Eskom board had earlier said Molefe had resigned before changing its tune‚ saying he had retired.
Speaking to journalists on Thursday ahead of her departmental budget vote debate on Thursday‚ Brown said she told no lies at a heated meeting with the portfolio committee on public enterprises on Tuesday.
“I remain a member of the ANC whether they have issued 5‚000 statements. I am a deployee of the ANC‚ I subject myself to the wisdom of the party leadership.
“The ANC has a right to say what it wishes to say‚ and the ANC will call me and tell me that and I will defend myself or accept it.
“If the leadership says I should come and so on‚ will have to defend myself there… I don’t think I have lied to parliament‚ I am not lying to parliament so I don’t know what more do you want‚” she said.
Molefe and Eskom board chairman Ben Ngubane were conspicuous by their absence at the media briefing. Brown had been joined by CEOs and board chairmen of key state-owned enterprises under her portfolio such as Transnet‚ SAFCOL‚ Alexkor and Denel as is tradition with budget votes.
Molefe was seen in the corridors of parliament as early as Wednesday.
“We invited everyone‚ I don’t why they are not here‚” said Brown.
The former premier of the Western Cape said her department would enlist the services of a retired judge to oversee a forensic probe into procurement processes at Eskom‚ dating back to 2007.
Brown said the Special Investigating Unit would also be involved in the probe and they would conduct forensic work on the seven investigative reports that had already been conducted by leading auditing and legal firms such as PriceWaterHouse Coopers and Dentons.
Brown’s probe would be parallel to an inquiry that her parliamentary oversight committee on Tuesday agreed to conduct.
She said her new probe was not a bureaucratic attempt to delay uncovering “malfeasance at Eskom”.
“I’m not doing a doubling up of the state capture investigation‚ this will be a much broader investigation.
“I want the whole procurement issues to be investigated‚ I actually want a credible transparent process.
“The parliamentary committee must go ahead do their own investigation.”
– TMG Digital/TimesLIVE