Brown: Eskom liars will be charged

'Eskom's problem is Lynne Brown'

'Eskom's problem is Lynne Brown'

Qoma accused Brown of interfering to prevent the suspension of then interim CEO Matshela Koko by the Eskom board earlier this year after the controversial Gupta family asked her to do so.

"The minister will never be able to explain why she is in the midst of water and she is not wet", he said at the parliamentary inquiry.

He said Ngubane had persuaded the rest of the board that this was the correct course of action. Khoza had told a "G-brother" of the impending suspension and he had, in turn, contacted Brown, who stopped Koko's suspension.

He said Khoza conceded that he had "called one of the G [Gupta] brothers" and that this prompted Brown's intervention.

Qoma was scathing of Brown's track record as public enterprises minister and of her claims that she was unaware or had been lied to about key events in Eskom's turbulent affairs.

Qoma, a communications expert who was appointed at Eskom on December 1 previous year, with a mandate to rescue the utility's battered reputation in the wake of the Public Protector's State of Capture report, said Brown's strategy of claiming "I was lied to" and "I didn't know" was a public admission of incompetence. She said the swirl of allegations that have enveloped them must be investigated and set right.

"The problem here is the minister". "The fact of the matter is that if we deal with the respect of office, this minister needs to sit here and account".

Qoma said he had met Khoza at his (Khoza's) home on June 17, to discuss a proposal to suspend both Koko and Eskom chief financial officer Anoj Singh. "She is totally incompetent". The relationship between the chairman and the former CEO could be illustrated, he said, by Ngubane's decision to drop in on him to see how he was doing after he was forced out of the company shortly after Brown allowed him to return as CEO.

Qoma described the debacle in which Eskom allowed disgraced Molefe to retire on a full pension of R30 million at the age of 50 after he was implicated in state capture by former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela as a "well-orchestrated Ponzi scheme".

This comes after a report Eskom presented to Government, as the major shareholder, revealed that the power utility only has R1.2 billion left in its cash reserves until the end of November 2017, when it should have R20 billion. It was also at Singh's insistence that journalist Chris Yelland was blacklisted from Eskom's information systems, he told the committee.