Former Eskom CEO Brian Dames told the portfolio committee on public enterprises on the second day of Parliament’s inquiry into state capture that he was asked to meet “some people” who turned out to be the Guptas (or linked to the Guptas) by Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba’s adviser Siyabonga Mahlangu.
“It was somewhere in Midrand and there was one other individual: I assume it was one of the brothers,” he said. “I was very angry after this meeting. I told Mr Mahlangu not to bring these people to me again,” he said.
He clarified that the meeting took place at Sahara, which is owned by the Guptas. However, he said the person in question was not Atul or Ajay Gupta, but did not rule out any other family member, such as Tony Gupta.
“They said ‘we have decided we can work with you’,” he said.
Dames said they wanted to discuss coal contracts as well as the New Age breakfast deal. The Guptas owned the New Age newspaper.
Dames said he did not report the meeting to Gigaba.
After Dames left Eskom in 2014, he said acting CEO Collin Matjila concluded an inflated deal for the SABC breakfast show.
Mahlangu was Gigaba’s adviser when he was public enterprises minister.
Mahlangu was in the news this year, after The Times revealed that he flew to India with President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane. Free State premier Ace Magashule’s son, Tshepiso, was reportedly also on the flight. The 10-day trip took place just two months after Mahlangu was appointed.
When Economic Freedom Fighters MP Floyd Shivambu held up a photo of the Guptas, Dames was unable to identify which Gupta he had met with.