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Ben Martins denies state capture claims

Eskom's suspended head of legal, Suzanne Daniels, told Parliament's Public Enterprises portfolio commitee that she attended a meeting with Martins, Ajay Gupta, Duduzane Zuma and businessman Salim Essa.

FILE: Ben Martins is sworn in as deputy Minister of Public Enterprises in Pretoria on 31 March 2017. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Deputy Public Enterprises Minister Ben Martins has denied allegations made against him by a suspended Eskom senior executive.

On Wednesday, Eskom's suspended head of legal, Suzanne Daniels, told Parliament's Public Enterprises portfolio commitee that she attended a meeting with Martins, Ajay Gupta, Duduzane Zuma and businessman Salim Essa.

She claims that Gupta wanted to discuss former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe's pension payout court case.

Daniels attended a meeting in Melrose Arch in July believing that she was to meet Salim Essa for coffee.

There she found a casually dressed Gupta, wearing a grey track suit pants and t-shirt. She clearly recalls that Gupta was barefoot, indicating it was an informal get together.

She claims that Martins was also there.

"Here was this man [Gupta], there was Duduzane and there was deputy Minister Ben Martins and there's some lady that I don't know and then there's me. I think I was in jeans as well, thinking 'Oh my God, I've landed in the wrong place'."

But he's denied this, saying in a statement on Thursday that her testimony in the inquiry is perplexing.

He admits to meeting Daniels several times in her capacity as Eskom's company secretary, and admonishing her for governance lapses under her watch.

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