NEWS

Ajay Gupta Suffered 'Untold Harm', Says 'Blatant Allegations' Are 'Malicious'

Gupta lawyer to institute criminal charges against suspended Eskom legal head Suzanne Daniels.

16/11/2017 08:08 SAST | Updated 16/11/2017 08:49 SAST
Gallo Images via Getty Images
Ajay Gupta (R) and younger brother Atul Gupta

Controversial businessman Ajay Gupta suffered "untold harm" after "malicious allegations" were made by suspended Eskom legal services head Suzanne Daniels at the state capture inquiry underway in Parliament, his lawyer said on Thursday.

"The allegations made by Ms Daniels are obviously harmful to Mr Ajay Gupta and harmful to the country, in that she appears to suggest that no less a person than a deputy judge president could be contacted by our client in order to arrange a date for the hearing of a case involving Mr Molefe," stated a letter penned by Gupta's lawyer.

The letter was sent to the state capture inquiry, which was published on The New Age website.

"The interviews by your portfolio committee are broadcast nationwide and reported on by the media. Allegations made there are taken to be true not only by the media but by the public. When they are blatantly untrue they are recklessly distributed and the public is seriously misled. Of course, our client suffers untold harm in the consequence of such wild allegations being made against him," it stated.

Daniels made explosive claims in Parliament 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.

Read Here : Guptas' Tentacles Reach Into Deputy Judge President's Office

"We wish to put it on record that Ms Suzanne Daniels was under oath when she incorrectly and intentionally made the malicious claims against our client... In this regard, we have been instructed that we report such conduct to the relevant authorities (including the South African Police Service and the Speaker of Parliament) so that the necessary investigation may be instituted against Ms Suzanne Daniels and further criminal charges may be instituted against her," the lawyer said.

"We would also point out that these allegations were made without Mr Gupta having been approached to hear his side. We are confident, that, armed with this information, you [the inquiry] will do the right thing."

Daniels made startling revelations to the inquiry last week.

"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.

Read Here: Eskom's Money Woes No Surprise As Evidence Of Looting Mounts

Meanwhile, Daniels has stuck to her guns insisting that she was sticking to her claims.

"I stand by my testimony. I have noted all the claims that have come weeks later after I gave my testimony."

Ajay Gupta is now the second person after Deputy Minister Ben Martins has also refuted Daniels claims of attending the meeting.

Martins has provided proof that he was at the funeral of Cyril Ramaphosa's spokesperson, Ronnie Mamoepa, on the day of the claimed meeting which allegedly took place at Melrose Arch.

Martin has provided proof from his diary to back up his statement last week that Daniels had lied under oath when she told the inquiry about the meeting.

Martins has since announced that he will be taking legal action against Daniels.

Additional reporting by Richard Davies.