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Martins says there are procedural flaws in handling of Eskom inquiry

In a statement released days after he was named by a witness as having attended a meeting with one of the Gupta brothers, Deputy Public Enterprises Minister Ben Martins is hitting back.

FILE: Deputy Public Enterprises Minister Ben Martins. Picture: GCIS

CAPE TOWN - Deputy Public Enterprises Minister Ben Martins has flagged procedural flaws in Parliament's handling of an inquiry into Eskom.

In a hard-hitting statement released several days after he was named by a witness as having attended a meeting with one of the controversial Gupta brothers, Martins is hitting back.

He's taken aim at the inquiry's evidence leader Advocate Ntuthuzelo Vanara, accusing him of failing to adhere to basic principles of fairness.

Martins claims Vanara was dutybound to inform him that he would be implicated by one of the witnesses so that he could provide Members of Parliament (MPs) with his version of events.

Martins contends these procedural flaws places the inquiry at odds with the Constitution.

Last week, Eskom's suspended Head of legal, Suzanne Daniels told MPs that Martins was present at a meeting in Melrose Arch in July this year with Ajay Gupta.

At that meeting, Daniels claims the Gupta discussed former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe's pending court case.

But Martins, who initially could not say where he was on the day in question, now says he attended a funeral and an African National Congress (ANC) Lekgotla that day.

He says there are ANC members who can vouch for him.

The public enterprises' portfolio committee which is probing allegations of state capture at state-owned companies began the inquiry on the 17 October.

Since then, lawmakers have repeatedly said that implicated individuals would get a chance to appear before the inquiry to respond to all of the allegations.

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