News / South Africa

Gosebo Mathope
2 minute read
9 Nov 2017
3:44 pm

Montana calls Martins’ bluff, insists he invited Duduzane Zuma and Rajesh Gupta

Gosebo Mathope

Montana revealed he wrote a letter in which he rejected the Guptas and their specific attempts to manipulate the R53bn Prasa tender for new commuter trains.

Lucky Montana during an interview on July 31, 2015 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The former Prasa CEO laid fraud charges against two executives and a board member of the parastatal. Picture: Gallo Images

Barely a few hours after Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises Ben Dikobe Martins called suspended Eskom company secretary Suzanne Daniels “a liar” for fabricating a meeting at which a discussion to manipulate Brian Molefe’s court case was allegedly discussed, former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana has provided information which contradicts some of the details provided by Martins to the media this morning.

In a short statement released this afternoon, Montana kicked off his rebuttal by writing: “For the record, I never knew nor met any Gupta until invited by Minister Martins to his ministerial house in Pretoria.”

He said it is rather “unfortunate” he was depicted as having “brought Rajesh Gupta”.

Montana said, because he had never met Gupta before, he encountered him for the very first time when he “came with Duduzane Zuma to the meeting, clearly at the invitation of my leader, comrade and friend, Ben Martins”.

He said he “did not even know these two [Rajesh Gupta and Duduzane Zuma] were coming to join us”.

Montana further stated he wrote a detailed letter “outrightly rejecting the Guptas as far back as 2012 when it was not fashionable to do so, even by powerful politicians”.

The statement said in the current “toxic environment, it is easy to bend the truth”.

READ MORE: Martins doesn’t know where he was during ‘state capture meeting’, calls Daniels a ‘liar’

Montana also argued he was “the only CEO in this country who rejected Guptas and their specific attempts to manipulate the R53-billion PRASA Tender for New Commuter Trains”.

He added it was for this reason they wanted Sfiso Buthelezi (former Prasa chairperson) and him as the CEO to be removed.

“The leadership failed to protect me, and only acted when I threatened to resign and issue my letter to the public,” Montana continued.

“The so-called Opponents of State Capture today thought they could find Guptas behind every Prasa transactions Guptas were not found simply because I did not allow them.

“I did this with the full support of then Prasa Board under Sfiso Buthelezi. Instead, the Guptas did their dirty deals at Transnet and Eskom, and not Prasa under my Leadership,” he said.