PARLIAMENT – The minister of Public Enterprises, Lynne Brown, on Wednesday, denied that she received a phone call from President Jacob Zuma instructing her to suspend three Eskom executives in 2015. This contradicts the explosive evidence of a former company board chair.
“I said no, Advocate [Ntuthuzelo] Vanara,” replied Brown wearily when the evidence leader in the parliamentary inquiry into Eskom questioned her about the alleged instruction, said to have emanated from a meeting including Zuma and former South African Airways chairperson Dudu Myeni.
“In fact, I don’t know the conversation. Why don’t you ask the president?” Brown said.
Brown was cross examined by Advocate Vanara about former Eskom board chairman Zola Tsotsi’s claims that he had a meeting with Myeni, who had told him to suspend three executives and form a fact finding inquiry into Eskom in early 2015.
According to Tsotsi the meeting took place in Zuma’s Durban residence, telling members of parliament that the president then came into the room and asked Tsotsi if he knew which executives were meant to be suspended.
Brown who appeared before the committee on Wednesday immediately challenged Tsotsi’s testimony. She was shocked that he failed to tell her that he had met with the president, she said.
Brown told the inquiry that Tony and Essa Gupta had never been to her home.