The Democratic Alliance will write to the Public Protector, Advocate Busisiwe Mkhwebane, to investigate Public Enterprises Minister, Lynne Brown, for any role she played in the awarding of lucrative oil contracts worth R1.2 million from Eskom to her lover and close business associate, despite their lack of expertise in the oil industry.
The DA will also refer Minister Brown to the Ethics Committee to appear before the committee and explain how the company with no experience in the oil industry was awarded contracts with Eskom. The DA trusts that the committee will ensure that Minister Brown is taken to task if there was any illegal and corrupt behaviour on her part.
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. Even more shocking is that the two contracts worth R1.2 million were awarded in a matter of just five months this year.
This is serious on the indictment on the Minister and raises serious questions about her fitness to hold office as she has seemingly allowed her close associates to conduct business in an unethical way. E Smart Solutions has no experience in the oil industry and was only registered to deal with academic projects.
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.
The Minister’s reluctance to ensure that the Eskom board instituted disciplinary actions against Matshela Koko is clear indication that she was beholden to him.
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.
The DA will not step back and watch in horror as ordinary citizens bear the brunt of the ANC-government’s corruption. The DA will ensure that Minister Brown fully accounts for her questionable conduct.
Natasha Mazzone is the public enterprises spokesperson for the Democratic Alliance.