CAPE TOWN, September 20 – Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown has received answers from Eskom to outstanding questions about its relationship with Trillian, a Gupta-linked company, her office said on Wednesday.
“Minister Brown last night received Eskom’s responses to her queries. She noted progress and Eskom will soon announce more details,” her office said.
Last Friday, Brown met with Eskom’ chairperson Zethemba Khoza and acting group executive of Eskom Johnny Dladla questioning the state-owned company’s “commitment to speedily addressing allegations of maladministration and corruption” to restore the public’s confidence in the power utility.
During the meeting she issued Eskom with a final ultimatum to provide detailed answers on its relationship with Trillian after describing their initial responses as inappropriate and tardy.
On September 8, Brown’s office said she studied the report provided to her by Eskom to clarify its relationship with Trillian but wanted more information from the power utility.
Earlier, Eskom admitted that it had lied about payments of more than R1.5 billion to Trillian Capital Holdings.
The power utility earlier claimed the payments were above board following the release of a damning report into Trillian by advocate Geoff Budlender.
It said fellow global management consultancy, Oliver Wyman, had concluded that the payments were “based on prudent costs incurred and value created”.
But later Eskom was forced to concede that, in fact, Wyman had red-flagged the payments and had recommended a legal review of the transactions.
Trillian is a financial services company in which Salim Essa, a close business associate of the Guptas, sold his controlling share in June as pressure over allegations of state capture mounted.