Friday, March 18, 2016

Hogan slams Guptas over airline

Former minister of both health and public enterprises Barbara Hogan added her voice on Thursday to the chorus condemning the alleged involvement of the Gupta family in South African politics.

On Wednesday, deputy minister of finance Mcebisi Jonas confirmed speculation he had been offered the minister of finance’s post by members of the Gupta family – to whom President Jacob Zuma has claimed personal ties – days before Nhlanhla Nene was fired and Desmond van Rooyen was appointed by Zuma.

Van Rooyen’s appointment lasted four days and nearly crashed the South African economy before Zuma replaced him with Pravin Gordhan, who is now under attack from the Hawks.

Jonas’ claims followed assertions by ANC member and former member of parliament Vygie Mentor that she too had been offered Hogan’s public enterprises post, shortly before Hogan was moved on.

Hogan told CapeTalk radio station she was not at all surprised by Jonas’ revelations.

“The overwhelming evidence that has been accumulating over this period of time is evidence of just how the Guptas have seized control of our state,” Hogan said.

Hogan claimed she had not been directly influenced by the controversial family. “I never, ever, went to meet with them; I declined to have any interactions with them. But Mentor’s mention of Jet Airways, I cannot tell you the pressure I had from Jet Airways to meet with them around commercial business. It was unrelenting.”

Mentor has claimed she was offered the job on condition she drop South African Airways’ (SAA’s) India route and give it to Jet Airways, the same airline hired by the Gupta’s to ferry guests for a family wedding which landed at Waterkloof Airforce Base, sparking a national outcry.

Jet Airways – one of the biggest in India – concluded a financially mutually beneficial agreement with SAA in August last year.
17/03/16 Amanda Watson/The Citizen
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