File image: Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown.
Johnnesburg - The damning public protector’s report which found Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown lied to Parliament, has added impetus to calls for President Cyril Ramaphosa to fire cabinet members with Gupta links.

Opposition parties on Friday used the report to intensify their calls for Ramaphosa to reshuffle his cabinet and appoint people with ethics and integrity.

DA spokesperson for Public Enterprises Natasha Mazzone, who laid the formal complaint with Public Protector advocate Busi Mkhwebane in May, said she felt vindicated.

Mkhwebane found Brown had misled Parliament, when she failed to disclose there had been contracts of engagement between Eskom and Gupta-linked Trillian.

Brown’s problem began on December 2, 2016, when Mazzone, in a parliamentary question, asked whether Eskom had paid service fees to Trillian which involved the explosion of a boiler at the Duvha Power Station.

Read: DA calls for Minister Lynne Brown to be fired

Lynne Brown misled Parliament in Trillian-Eskom saga

Mazzone wanted to know the exact amounts paid and other related contracts between the two entities.

The report found Brown had replied that nothing had been paid to Trillian Capital Partners for the Duvha Power Station insurance claim and that Eskom had not appointed Trillian to negotiate the settlement.

Brown’s denials came despite public information that Trillian had invoiced Eskom for R266million and R153m for the two contracts.

Mkhwebane in her report said the complaint that Brown had acted in breach of the Executive Ethics Code was substantiated.

“Minister Brown’s failure to act responsibly and in accordance with her constitutional and legal obligations to be accountable to Eskom as the minister of public enterprises when she replied to the parliamentary question was inconsistent with her office.

“She therefore also violated the provisions of executive ethics code 96(2) of the constitution,” Mkhwebane found.

Mkhwebane gave Ramaphosa 14 days to act against Brown.

Constitutional law expert Phephelaphi Dube of the Centre for Constitutional Rights said Brown could also be penalised by Parliament’s ethics committee based on the findings of the public protector.

Mazzone said the DA wanted Ramaphosa to swiftly axe Brown from his cabinet.

“Her time has finally come to face the music. The public protector’s finding is a victory for all those who have fought bravely against state capture.”

Cope leader Mosiuoa Lekota also came out strongly in support of the call to fire Brown.

“A slap on the wrist such as what Zuma did to Zwane (Minister of Mineral Resources Mosebenzi Zwane) will not suffice.

“If President Ramaphosa is an ethical leader who believes in good and clean governance, he will summarily dismiss Lynne Brown as minister of public enterprises and immediately eject her from his executive,” Lekota said. - Additional reporting African News Agency/ANA

Political Bureau

Like us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter