NEWS
22/11/2017 17:59 SAST | Updated 22/11/2017 17:59 SAST

State Capture Probe: Lynne Brown Lashes Out At MPs Over 'Circumstantial Evidence'

“It presently feels as if Eskom has been beaten to the ground and is being pinned down by the weight of untested allegations while being kicked to death."

SABC

Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown had strong words for MPs serving on the inquiry into state capture when she appeared before it on Wednesday afternoon.

The probe is being conducted by the National Assembly's public enterprises committee.

Brown said there was "overwhelming circumstantial evidence of malfeasance" at some state-owned companies.

She called for a comprehensive and speedy investigation.

"The best thing for the country, the economy, for Eskom,and for me personally, is a comprehensive investigation."

She urged that this be speeded up.

"It presently feels as if Eskom has been beaten to the ground and is being pinned down by the weight of untested allegations while being kicked to death.

"It is said that the wheels of justice grind slowly. We desperately need to speed them up."

She said state-owned companies had become a "chosen battleground" for disparate forces, including members of the ruling party, opposition parties, business and the media.

"I note that none of the committee members have insisted on a more balanced process. You certainly didn't cover yourselves in glory by blithely listening to Ms Daniels contradict evidence that she has given you in the past – without pointing the different version out."

Brown said the same criticism would apply to the media.

However, she had not appeared before the committee in order to fight, or defend Eskom.

"I received legal advice to decline your invitation on the basis that your process was unfair, inappropriately accusatorial, and that my appearance would only serve to legitimise a pre-determined interim report containing a rehash of untested information designed to embarrass particular politicians.

"I did not take that advice because the constitutional principles that members of the executive should account to Parliament, and the people have the right to know, is more important than any of us," she said.