Brown denies threatening former Eskom board chair, questions Tsotsi memory
Johannesburg - Former Public Enterprises minister Lynne Brown has denied threatening to remove former Eskom board chairman Zola Tsotsi over a dispute that concerned alleged interference.
Brown returned to the witness stand at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry on Monday.
She began testifying last week and was questioned on a wide range of issues linked to corruption allegations at Eskom.
During the proceedings, Brown was questioned over allegations made by Tsotsi.
Tsotsi testified last year that Brown had demanded he attend a meeting at her Cape Town residence in 2015 before the State of the Nation address. He said Brown appeared irritated and threatened to remove him for interfering in Eskom affairs.
Brown denied this accusation and questioned how Tsotsi, who could possibly be close to her age, could remember verbatim what she had said in 2015.
She admitted to having asked Tsotsi to come to see her, but said, this was only because there were concerns the board chair was interfering in Eskom executives’ affairs, something that board members were barred from doing.
"It is absolute nonsense. I am astounded that Mr Tsotsi remembers even without taking a recording of the exact words that I used. I have said we did not have an easy relationship.
“I absolutely deny that. I do not think anyone should be threatened with their job. I deny that. The issue of that weekend, it was the day before SONA, is that I ticked him off for interfering in operational matters," Brown told the inquiry.
"It was Mr Matona who showed me the letter from Tsotsi. The South African public should be glad that I do not want the non-executive directors interfering in operational matters," she said.
Brown was also asked whether she was aware of the deals former Eskom executives, Brian Molefe and Anoj Singh, signed with Gupta-linked companies. One of the payments, for R30 million, was made to Trillian Capital.
The former minister said she was not aware of some of the deals and only knew about them through the media.