Ajay Gupta said in a meeting in an apartment near Melrose Arch in Johannesburg, July 2017, that the problems with the suspension of Brian Molefe the CEO of Eskom is that it “will be easier to handle if Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma has the power ”.
That was the testimony Tuesday afternoon of Suzanne Daniels, formerly Eskom’s legal chief before she was suspended and subsequently fired, before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture.
Daniels testified the Gupta meeting was at the time when Brian Molefe was suspended as Eskom chief.
She was asked by Gupta partner Salim Essa to meet them at the African Pride Hotel in Melrose Arch. They walked from there to a place that looked to her from the outside like an office complex, but it was an apartment complex.
Daniels said in the apartment it was dark and the curtains were drawn. She recognized Ajay Gupta, Duduzane Zuma and former Minister Ben Martins.
“I was extremely shocked when I walked in and Essa introduced me to Ajay Gupta and Duduzane Zuma. I knew Ben Martins. Gupta and Essa spoke to each other in an Indian language, “Daniels testified.
Following this, she was asked to explain what was going on with the Molefe issue.
“I said that in terms of the process, we will see the deputy judge president to discuss the handling of the case. Mr Gupta responded to this. He did not speak specifically to me, but in general to everyone. He said they should get someone in the deputy judge’s office. That was one of his shocking remarks. “Then he said the matter would be easier when Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma would get the power,” according to Daniels.
She then realized “this is it”, she no longer needed proof. Her skepticism about the Guptas’ influence in land affairs was confirmed.
“I tried to stay as calm as possible. I thought I might just be killed here. My family just knew I was going to Melrose Arch. Nobody knows I’m here. These were the kind of thoughts in my head, “Daniels testified.
She said Ajay Gupta was sitting there barefoot in an old T-shirt and sweatpants. He was unshaven.
“I thought the man was sitting here and thought the land belonged to him.”