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JOHANNESBURG - Eskom officials who lied about payments to Trillian and McKinsey are in hot water, with calls for Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown to take criminal action against them.

Eskom has said payments to Trillian and McKinsey, totalling R1.6 billion was above board.

This was despite similar questions raised in Parliament, in which the power utility stood its ground. The ANC and DA have called for action against those involved in the matter. But Eskom changed its tune this week.

This resulted in its board holding an emergency meeting to decide on what course of action to take.

Brown told journalists in Parliament yesterday that she expected Eskom to give her the full report today.

This followed her deadline this week that she be furnished with the report on the matter.

The ANC and DA said all those involved in the latest debacle must be held accountable.

After its meeting on Tuesday the Eskom board said it had suspended four top executives.

During its appearance in the Standing Committee on Public Accounts in June, Eskom was grilled on its coal contracts with the Guptas.

The power utility has been in the public domain since it decided to pay former Chief Executive Brian Molefe R30 million, but this was reversed by Brown.

A Cabinet committee set up to deal with the matter also said Molefe’s payment was wrong and should therefore not be processed.

Molefe has since taken the matter to court.

Other than the R495m it paid to the Gupta-linked Trillian, Eskom was quizzed by Scopa on its coal contracts with another Gupta-firm Tegeta.

This was before Tegeta was sold to a Swiss-based firm.

Tegeta was given coal contracts valued at R4bn, according to a report by auditing firm PricewaterHouseCoopers.

Brown said yesterday she wanted full answers from Eskom.

She said she did not know she had been lied to by Eskom on its relationship with Trillian.

MPs had questioned how the payments were made and for which work was this for.

Brown said she would decide on the course of action once Eskom has met her deadline today.

She said she did not want to speculate what would happen, but would wait for the report before deciding what action to take.

Natasha Mazzone of the DA said she did not buy Brown’s story that she did not know about Eskom’s relationship with Trillian.

She said as minister in charge of state-owned entities she should have known.

- POLITICS HUB