Ben Martins accuses Eskom witness of ‘lying’
DEPUTY Public Enterprises Minister Ben Martins has provided proof that he was at the funeral of Cyril Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Ronnie Mamoepa, on the day when a suspended Eskom employee claimed they had attended a meeting with a Gupta family member.
Last week Suzanne Daniels testified at a parliamentary inquiry into Eskom that she had met with Martins, Duduzane Zuma and Ajay Gupta 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.
That event, according to a letter Martins sent to the public enterprises committee probe into Eskom, was one of two major engagements on July 29.
He was there from 7am until about 1.15pm. At the service he took several photographs with former Robben Island prisoners.
After this event, he went to St George’s Hotel in Irene to take part in an ANC legkotla. Several Cabinet members, as well as ANC colleagues, he said, could vouch for his presence. He was part of the Economic Transformation Commission and was at the ANC event until 7.30pm.
Martins questioned the failure of evidence leader advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara to uphold the standard and principles of fairness during the parliamentary probe into Eskom.
“In particular Ms Daniels’ testimony including the testimony of all other witnesses who testified at the parliamentary inquiry have never been tested. The truthfulness of such testimony falls short of satisfying the requirements of valid, cogent and admissible evidence,” he said.
Martins said that before the inquiry began, Public Enterprises Minister Lynne Brown had sent three letters, one to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete, another to Vanara and the third to the chairperson of the portfolio committee on public enterprises.
“The first letter of August 8 addressed concerns regarding procedural issues in so far as the inquiry is concerned. The second letter of October 13 raised the same procedural issues including but not limited to the evidence leader’s conflicted role. The third and final letter dated October 19 addressed procedural issues in particular the evidence leader’s failure to act ethically and professionally as expected of him in line with rules and ethics governing the advocacy profession,” Martins said.
He said that the inquiry was subject to the Constitution. “The Constitution upholds due process of the law. The Constitution upholds fair procedural administrative process and respect for individual fundamental rights.”