|Democratic Alliance (DA) says it will write to the Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane to investigate Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown’s role following R1, 2 million lucrative Eskom oil contract allegedly awarded to her lover and business associates.
DA Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises Natasha Mazzone said in a statement on Sunday her party will also refer the matter to Parliament for the Minister to appear before Ethics Committee and explain how the company, E Smart Solutions with no experience in the oil industry was awarded contracts with Eskom.
It is alleged the company, [E Smart Solutions] is only registered to deal with academic projects.
“Minister Brown seemingly allowed her relationship with her partner, Ingrid Tufvesson,and Michelle McMaster, the mother of Brown’s former personal assistant, Kim Davids, to influence the awarding of these contracts to supply oil to Eskom’s transformers at 10 power stations,” said Mazzone.
Mazzone said this is a serious on indictment on the Minister, saying it raises serious questions about her fitness to hold office as she has seemingly allowed her close associates to conduct business in an unethical way.
“There must be harsh consequences for selling off contracts with absolute impunity as this is ultimately to the detriment of our people who are suffering daily. The ordinary South Africans deserve a clean and accountable government, not one where politicians simply enrich themselves, and those closest to them, at the peoples’ expense,” said Mazzone.
The Minister’s reluctance to ensure that the Eskom board instituted disciplinary actions against Matshela Koko is clear indication that she was owing him a favour.
Koko, who was suspended in August for allowing contracts of over R1-billion to be awarded to a company co-owned by his stepdaughter, reportedly told friends that “Brown would not dare fire him because he had dirt on her.”
Minister Brown seems to have a conflicting idea of what her mandate is and the blame for all the scandals that have rocked Eskom must be laid squarely at her door.
“She has failed dismally in her role as minister. Her display of detachment from serious matters concerning the power utility proves difficult to find her credible as a Minister,” added Mazzone.
Mazzone said DA would not step back and watch in horror as ordinary citizens bear the brunt of the ANC-government’s corruption.
She said DA would ensure Minister Brown fully accounts for her questionable conduct.