JOHANNESBURG - PUBLIC Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown issued Eskom with an ultimatum on Friday, to be briefed on clarity of the power utility’s relationship with Trillian, a Gupta-linked company, by tomorrow.
Brown met Eskom’s acting chairperson, Zethemba Khoza, and acting group executive of Eskom Johnny Dladla on Friday, and questioned the power utility’s “commitment to speedily addressing allegations of maladministration and corruption” to restore the public’s confidence, her department said.
“The minister in particular expressed her disappointment at Eskom’s inappropriate and tardy responses to questions she asked relating to its business relationship with Trillian,” her department said.
Brown received a report from Eskom on September 1 that was signed off by Khoza. “The report contained glaring gaps and the minister requested further information. It was recently revealed that information Eskom provided the minister about its dealings with Trillian, which she used to respond to parliamentary questions, was inaccurate,” her department said.
The Eskom board is meeting today and Brown wants to be briefed tomorrow with resolutions the board reached on disciplinary processes; investigations into questionable contracts; stability in the company and particular the executive team; why it took Eskom’s legal department five days to forward her supplementary questions to the board; and what happened between the first and second media statements Eskom issued on Trillian in June.
“The briefing must specifically include an update on investigative and disciplinary processes with respect to former acting group chief executive Matshela Koko and chief financial officer Anoj Singh – and definitive answers to the Trillian questions.”
Brown said Khoza’s report, presented to her tomorrow, would help her determine the scope and nature of the decisive action required to restore Eskom’s credibility. Trillian is a financial services company in which Salim Essa, a business associate of the Guptas, sold his controlling share in June as pressure over allegations of state capture mounted.