Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
1 minute read
30 Jun 2017
5:20 am

Did Brown lie about Gupta-linked firm Trillian?

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

Report reveals there was no tender but Eskom paid Trillian R250m anyway.

Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown during a media briefing held at Megawatt Park, Eskoms head office in Sunninghill, 23 June 2017.Picture: Neil McCartney

Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s office is investigating whether Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown lied to parliament when she claimed that Eskom had not used finance company Trillian Capital Partners’ services for a multimillion-rand insurance claim by the utility last year.

This is according to DA shadow minister of public enterprises Natasha Mazzone.

This follows an explosive report on an investigation into the Gupta-linked company, which alleges Eskom paid the company more than a quarter of a billion rand, without securing a tender or contract.

The report by Geoff Budlender was on allegations by a whistleblower at the company. At the centre was an insurance claim by Eskom for an explosion at its Duvha power plant.

The report references a parliamentary reply by Brown in which she said no money was paid to Trillian for the power plant claim.

Former chairperson at Trillian Tokyo Sexwale yesterday defended CEO Eric Woods as a “good man who shook hands with the wrong people”.

The report found Woods knew about the impending axing of the then finance minister Nhlanhla Nene.

But Sexwale insisted Woods was simply caught in the crossfire of dealings between state entities and “a majority shareholder” at Trillian, referring to Gupa associate Salim Essa.

The company has said it would study the report before making a comprehensive response. – simnikiweh@citizen.co.za