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A day of surprises in Eskom inquiry

On receiving news that Deputy Public Enterprises Minister Ben Martins was not going to show up, MPs agreed to issue a subpoena to force him to answer their questions.

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

CAPE TOWN - It’s been a day of surprises in Parliament with Deputy Public Enterprises Minister Ben Martins refusing to testify in the Eskom inquiry, Ajay Gupta breaking his silence and a confusing situation involving the Hawks.

Members of Parliament (MPs) probing state capture were hoping to question Martins about his alleged meeting with Ajay Gupta, but the deputy minister didn't want to talk about it.

He's instead sent them a written account of his story.

On receiving news that Martins was not going to show up, MPs agreed to issue a subpoena to force him to answer their questions.

“Now we have reasons to believe that he must answer questions. And he needs to know that we’re not receiving written submissions. So, we must subpoena that drama queen… he must come to Parliament.”

Gupta has also written to the committee asking for a detailed list of questions.

He's disputed the testimony of Eskom’s suspended head of legal, Suzanne Daniels, that she met him and Martins in Melrose Arch in July.

Former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe’s court case was allegedly discussed at that meeting.

As lawmakers were deciding how to respond to these developments, they grew concerned about a Hawks official in their midst.

What was initially interpreted as an apparent act of intimidation later turned out to be a harmless misunderstanding.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)