Lynne Brown

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Lynne Brown
Lynne Brown in 2007
Minister of Public Enterprises
In office
25 May 2014 – 27 February 2018
PresidentJacob Zuma
Cyril Ramaphosa
Preceded byMalusi Gigaba
Succeeded byPravin Gordhan
6th Premier of the Western Cape
In office
25 July 2008 – 6 May 2009
Preceded byEbrahim Rasool
Succeeded byHelen Zille
Member of the National Assembly
In office
21 May 2014 – 1 March 2018
Personal details
Born (1961-09-26) 26 September 1961 (age 60)
Cape Town, Cape Province, South Africa
NationalitySouth African
Political partyAfrican National Congress

Lynne Brown (born 26 September 1961) is a South African politician who is a former Minister of Public Enterprises and former Premier of the Western Cape Province.[1] She was born in Cape Town and grew up in Mitchell's Plain. She was appointed Premier of the Western Cape following the resignation of Ebrahim Rasool in July 2008.[1] Previously, she was Minister for Economic Development and Tourism.[1] She is a member of the African National Congress and elected member of its National Executive Committee in 2007 and 2012.[1] Like her predecessor Ebrahim Rasool she is also from a coloured background. She is the fourth coloured premier of the Western Cape, and the second from the African National Congress, and is the first openly gay person to be appointed to a cabinet post in any African government.[2][3]

Political career[edit]

Brown was chairperson of the Mitchell's Plain Youth Congress in 1979 and a member of the United Women's Organisation from 1979 to 1985. She was a member of the United Women's Congress from 1985 to 1990, serving first as Education Officer and then as Provincial Secretary. She was involved in the United Democratic Front from its formation in 1983 until its disbandment, serving as a member of its Finance Committee.

Brown joined the ANC in 1987 and was elected to the Provincial Executive Committee and Provincial Working Committee in 1999. She has served as Western Cape Provincial Secretary of the ANC Women's League since 1990. Her involvement in education continued after her teaching years. She was a board member of the National Literacy Project and is currently a board member of the Extramural Education Project. She initiated and was director of the Women's College in 1990. In 1994 and again in 1999 she was elected as an ANC Member of the Western Cape Provincial Legislature. She was chairperson of the standing committees on Community Services and on Health and Welfare, and served as an ANC Whip and Chief Whip in the legislature. She stood as the ANC's candidate as mayor of Cape Town in 1999 and served as provincial Minister (MEC) for finance, economic development and tourism until her elevation to the office of Premier in 2008.

The ANC lost control of the province in the 2009 election with the Democratic Alliance garnering 22 of the 42 seats in the Provincial Parliament. The DA premier candidate Helen Zille replaced Brown on 6 May 2009.[4] She served as Leader of the ANC Opposition from 2009 until May 2014, when she was appointed by former President Jacob Zuma to his cabinet as Minister of Public Enterprises.

Lynne Brown's political legacy hangs in the balance following the Eskom enquiry. She initially claimed the Eskom inquiry amounted to a kangaroo court after she was called a liar by Eskom board spokesman Khulani Qoma over her role in the capture of the power utility.[5] She denied having read the Gupta emails despite being given a brown envelope by Natasha Mazzone containing them,[6] and denied that President Zuma had called her after meeting Tsotsi (Eskom Chairman at the time), a meeting that led to the suspension of Matona, Marokane and Koko. She denied knowing Tony Gupta and Salim Essa after Tsotsi stated under oath that Brown had invited him to her house and "Tony Gupta and Salim Essa were present."[7][8]

As of February 2018 she was removed from the Cabinet of President Cyril Ramaphosa,[9] being succeeded by Pravin Gordhan.

On 1 March 2018 she resigned as an ANC member of parliament.[10]

Personal life[edit]

Brown is openly gay. [2][3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Premier of the Western Cape: Bio". Cape Gateway. Provincial Government of the Western Cape. Retrieved 12 December 2008.
  2. ^ a b "South Africa appoints first lesbian to cabinet", by David Smith, The Guardian, Monday 26 May 2014.
  3. ^ a b Thelwell, Emma (6 June 2014). "SA's first gay minister: why it matters". News24. Archived from the original on 6 June 2014. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  4. ^ "Applause as Zille secures premiership". IOL. 6 May 2009. Retrieved 6 May 2009.
  5. ^ "Mthembu slams Lynne Brown and her deputy for attacking Eskom inquiry".
  6. ^ "Hair-raising moments from Brown's Eskom inquiry submission". TheCitizen. 23 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Lynne Brown denies Gupta links". IOL. 22 November 2017.
  8. ^ Capazorio, Bianca (22 November 2017). "Tony Gupta and Salim Essa were at meeting in Brown's home". Times Live.
  9. ^ "Who is in and who is out: Ramaphosa's Cabinet reshuffle". News24. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
  10. ^ "Lynne Brown resigns as ANC MP". IOL. Retrieved 2018-03-01.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by Premier of the Western Cape
25 July 2008 – 6 May 2009
Succeeded by