22/11/2017 16:41 SAST | Updated 22/11/2017 16:41 SAST

Lynne Brown: 'I Never Consulted With The Guptas On Anything'

The public enterprises minister is denying allegations against her in Parliament's state capture inquiry.

Lynne Brown.
Lynne Brown.

I have never consulted with anyone on my executive functions, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown told MPs on Wednesday.

"Not Tony Gupta or Salim Essa, or anyone else. Why would I hand over my functions to anyone else?" she said," ahead of her testimony to the parliamentary inquiry into state capture.

Brown said she wanted to respond to earlier "accusations" by former Eskom board chairperson Zola Tsotsi.

"In as far as board appointments are concerned, I report to Cabinet. Recommendations to establish subcommittees come to me from the board in writing. The chair sends me a letter with the names... and usually I approve the list."

Earlier on Wednesday, Tsotsi testified about how, in December 2014, shortly after the new Eskom board was appointed by Brown, the minister had called him to her home.

"When I arrived there, she was with two individuals. One Tony Gupta, and the other was Salim Essa.

Tsotsi said he had been summoned to discuss the allocation of Eskom board members to sub-committees.

Asked by DA MP Natasha Mazzone if the Gupta and Essa were there to advise on board allocations, he said prior to his going to the meeting "Salim Essa would draw up his idea of the board allocation, send it to me, and ask me to pass it on to the minister".

Asked if he thought Brown took instructions from the Guptas, he said he was not in a position to say if she took instructions.

However, "it seemed to me that I was not able to complete this exercise without the involvement of Mr Essa".

"Specifically what happened was that I got a list and I changed it to what I thought it should be. Then I sent it to the minister to get her concurrence. When she sent it back it had been changed to what it was when I got it from Essa."