Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown. Photo: GCIS

Business In The News South Africa

Brown blocked Koko’s suspension, witness tells Eskom probe

PARLIAMENT, November 14 – Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown took instructions from the Gupta brothers and ordered the Eskom board not to suspend Matshela Koko as CEO of the power utility, a witness on Tuesday told the parliamentary inquiry into the company.

Khulani Qoma, the now suspended spokesman for the Eskom board, said he had earlier this year urged chairman Zethembe Khoza to suspend Koko because of the reputational damage he believed he was inflicting on the company.

Qoma said Khoza fairly readily agreed that it should be done, but cautioned that former chairman Ben Ngubane had also wanted to move against Koko but was blocked by the minister.

“He says to me because Minister Brown is captured, Minister Brown reports to the Guptas and then he tells me about the new board members. He says on June 23, which would have been the date of the AGM, four board members are going to be announced and those board members have been appointed by the Guptas,” he told the parliamentary inquiry conducted by the portfolio committee on public enterprises.

Qoma said, Khoza then switched to Zulu and added that the board members were so young that they looked like school children.

“He then tells me that actually Dr Ngubane came very close to suspending Koko but was stopped in his tracks by Minister Brown.”

He said Ngubane had persuaded the rest of the board that this was the correct course of action. Koko had already left the office for the day and was summoned back.

But the Gupta brothers were called to inform them of the decision and they called Brown, who in turn called Ngubane and ordered him not to do it, Qoma added.

– African News Agency (ANA)

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