POLITICS

Ajay Gupta: 'I Was Not In The Country During Brian Molefe's Pension Meeting'

Suzanne Daniels "made a number of very serious claims and allegations involving my client," according to a letter by the Gupta's lawyer.

16/11/2017 07:09 SAST | Updated 16/11/2017 09:54 SAST
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Controversial businessman Ajay Gupta has submitted documents to the parliamentary inquiry into state capture denying allegations made by Eskom's former head of legal services Suzanne Daniels.

Gupta claims he was in no way involved in former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe's pension talks. He further claimed he was not in the country during a meeting that Daniels claimed he had crashed.

"We act on behalf of Mr Ajay Gupta in his personal capacity... In her [Daniels'] testimony, she made a number of very serious claims and allegations involving my client," according to a letter by Gupta's lawyer.

Gupta's comments were published on Thursday in The New Age, a newspaper he formerly owned before it was purchased by former government spokesperson Mzwanele Manyi.

TNA

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Daniels made explosive claims last week.

She told the inquiry that during a meeting -- held on July 29 this year, in an apartment close to Melrose Arch in Johannesburg -- Gupta had said he would speak to someone in the deputy judge president's office to ensure the court case over Molefe's R30-million pension payout was moved to next year.

Daniels, who was suspended from her post on October 6, said the meeting occurred after she was contacted by Gupta-associate Salim Essa, who had asked her to join him for a cup of coffee.

"I met him at Melrose Arch... and we walked to a [nearby] apartment. As we walked into the lounge area, there were four people whom I was introduced to. [They were] Mr Ajay Gupta, [President Jacob Zuma's son] Mr Duduzane Zuma, deputy [public enterprises] minister Ben Martins, and a Chinese lady whose name I cannot remember."

"At that point I was actually speechless. The purpose of the discussion was around the process of the Molefe court proceedings. Mr Gupta wanted to know how far they were."

Daniels said there was to be a meeting with the deputy judge president (DJP) to discuss when the matter would be set down.

"He [Gupta] then said -- it was very difficult to understand him, because he speaks in a very heavy Indian accent, but the gist was -- he will have to talk to someone in the DJP's office, and to make sure that the hearing takes place after December 2017, so that it could be dealt with then.

"He then mentioned something about Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, but I really couldn't follow what he was saying, partly because I couldn't believe where I was and what I was hearing.," Daniels said.

Daniels said after some further "mumbling" she left the apartment.

She later recalled that Gupta had been dressed in a pair of grey tracksuit pants, a T-shirt and was not wearing any shoes.

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Additional reporting by Richard Davies.

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