- Former transport minister, Ben Martins, says that Zuma did not instruct him to assist the Guptas with their controversial landing at Waterkloof Air Force Base
- However, Martins did admit to having met the Guptas
- He says that there was nothing untoward about his dealings with the family
The former minister of transport, Ben Martins, has said that former president Jacob Zuma did not instruct him to assit the Gupta family with landing their private plane at Waterkloof Air Force Base.
Martins made the claim during his testimony before the Zondo Commission.
He also maintains that he did not given any instruction to assist the Guptas with the landing.
He was referring to the Guptas' controversial landing at the Air Force Base in 2013, ostensibly with the permission of then-president Zuma.
Martins told the Commission that the Air Force Base did not fall under the jurisdiction of his department, according to The Citizen. He says that it operates under the authority of the Department of Defence and Military Veterans.
In fact, Martins said he was entirely unaware of the Guptas' landing, only learning about it when it was reported in the press.
However, Martins did admit to having met the Guptas on several occasions. He says he interacted with Tony and Atul Gupta while he was deputy minister of public enterprises at business functions organised by the SABC. Martins also says that he visited the Guptas' home in Saxonwold on two occasions, Briefly.co.za has gathered.
Martins added that he also organised a meeting between Tony Gupta and Prasa CEO Lucky Montana regarding a tender, but said that there was nothing untoward about the meeting.
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