Eskom inquiry heats up with unanimous decision to subpoena Martins

Dikobe Ben Martins. Picture: Gallo Images / Dirk Coetzee.

The Eskom inquiry in Parliament has, since its inception, hit a nerve, resulting in the exposing of shenanigans taking place at state-owned entities.

This as some individuals have refused to appear before the portfolio committee on public enterprises, to testify.

Deputy Public Enterprises Minister Ben Martins was one of the latest high profile individuals who had to be subpoenaed to appear before the inquiry into state capture at the power utility.

On Wednesday, members of Parliament took a unanimous decision to subpoena Martins after receiving a letter from him saying it was not necessary for him to appear before the committee.

In the letter, the deputy minister said that instead of him appearing before the committee, he would provide it with a written submission.

In the past, Martins had complained that he had not yet been given an opportunity to clarify the allegations made by suspended Eskom head of legal and compliance Suzanne Daniels that he was part of a meeting which took place in July between Ajay Gupta and Salim Essa.

Meanwhile, inquiry chairperson Zukiswa Rantho insisted that the committee had indeed invited Martins to appear but the deputy minister said he received the invitation after Monday – not before.

DA shadow minister of public enterprises Natasha Mazzone told the committee that the time for niceties was over, adding that Martins had made an “unfortunate blunder” in going up against a constitutionally mandated committee.

IFP member Narend Singh also expressed his disappointment by Martins’ response saying that he supported the committee’s decision to subpoena him.

-TNA Reporter