It all suddenly feels like it’s 2017 again: The Eskom-Trillian link is major news, the Guptas are a trending topic, and Natasha Mazzone is renewing her feud with her former opposite number, Lynne Brown.
Lynne Brown and Eskom
The DA’s Shadow Minister of Public Enterprises has vented her fury at Brown, who has long been seen as a key Gupta ally. She left her position back in 2018, replaced by Pravin Gordhan in Cyril Ramaphosa’s first cabinet reshuffle. Brown kept a low profile in the 16 months that followed, but she’s now being dragged back into the spotlight.
In her role as minister, Brown was responsible for overseeing the shenanigans which have come to cripple Eskom as a serious business entity. On her watch, the disastrous deal with Trillian took place – almost R1.7bn left the utility’s bank account, finding a new home at the Gupta-linked consultancy firm.
Natasha Mazzone calls Lynne Brown “a liar” over Trillian
Trillian, however, had their pants pulled down in court this Tuesday. They have been ordered to pay back a whopping R600 million to Eskom – about 0.15% of their total debt. Natasha Mazzone has welcomed the news, but she isn’t satisfied with this being the only outcome of the case.
The DA representative wants Lynne Brown to face the music at the state capture inquiry, after accusing her of “covering up” the full reality of this disastrous deal between the two parties:
“In a 2017 reply to a DA question, Lynne Brown denied the existence of the contracts or that any monies had been paid to Trillian by Eskom. Brown should now be called to appear before to the Zondo Commission to answer fully for this deliberate attempt to cover up this billion rand heist.”
“She must also account for any knowledge of the Gupta-lead and ANC condoned widespread looting of the state-owned entity, that contributed to crippling Eskom and which has since brought our economy to the precipice as a result of rolling blackouts.”
Trillian deal exposed, Eskom executives named
Mazzone also issued a stark warning to other state captors, telling them that stolen funds from the state “will be recovered” in the years to come. Former Eskom bigwigs Anoj Singh and Brian Molefe were also named in Tuesday’s judgement, where it was revealed Trillian founder Salim Essa buttered them up with all-expenses-paid trips to Dubai.