Public Enterprises' Ben Martins denies secret meetings with Gupta family

Deputy Public Enterprises Minister Ben Martins has denied any secret meetings with the Gupta family but has admitted that he did meet them on a few occasions.

He has accused Eskom's suspended head of legal, Suzanne Daniels, of being a "liar" saying she fabricated a story about meeting him and Ajay Gupta at Melrose Arch.

On Wednesday Daniels told Parliament's Public Enterprises portfolio committee that she met with Martins, President Jacob Zuma's son Duduzane and Gupta in July this year.

READ: Eskom's legal head takes her suspension battle to CCMA

Eyewitness News reporter Rahima Essop has more on the story.

He says he did not attend a meeting with Ajay Gupta and Duduzane Zuma in Melrose Arch on the 29th of July this year.

Rahima Essop, EWN reporter

He suspects that Daniels fabricated the story because he had on previous occasions admonished her for governance lapses under her watch as company secretary, so the inference then is that Daniels is holding a grudge against the deputy minister.

Rahima Essop, EWN reporter

He conceded yes, he did meet with the Gupta brothers a handful of times, throughout his career in government, he mentioned the Indian fair at their Saxonwold home, later at a media event.

Rahima Essop, EWN reporter

He also spoke about an occasion where he called Tony Gupta and former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana to meet with him at his Pretoria home to discuss issues at the railway agency. On that particular issue, he said that Montana had raised allegations that some of the Gupta's wanted to influence leadership changes at Prasa.

Rahima Essop, EWN reporter

Meanwhile, Eskom has served another senior executive with a suspension letter for allegedly receiving kickbacks.

Abram Masango has until Friday to motivate why he must not be suspended for an incident which happened while he was still the group executive for capital, which includes projects such as the Kusile Power Station.

Energy Expert and MD at EE Publishers, Chris Yelland says the scandals surrounding the power utility may have a harsh impact on Eskom.

It must be very disturbing for investors and lenders. Eskom is in a situation of severe liquidity at the moment leading up to next year where it is likely that they will go into a negative liquidity position.

Chris Yelland, Energy Expert and MD at EE Publishers

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