Ben Martins ac­cuses Eskom wit­ness of ‘ly­ing’

The New Age (Northern Cape) - - FRONT PAGE - DEN­NIS CRUYWAGEN news@the­

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.”

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