Barbara Hogan to take the stand at #StateCaptureInquiry
Johannesburg - Former minister of public enterprises Barbara Hogan is set to take the stand at the state capture inquiry on Wednesday.
Hogan served as the minister of public enterprises from May 2009 until she was fired by former president Jacob Zuma a year later in October 2010.
Zuma's decision to reshuffle his cabinet, his first of many, was seen back then as the biggest cabinet bloodbath since South Africa became a democracy in 1994.
A total of seven ministers were fired during that cabinet reshuffle. After she was removed as a minister, Hogan also resigned as an ANC member of Parliament.
Hogan, who had served as an ANC MP since 1994, is expected to shed light on the days leading up to her removal as a minister in 2010. She is expected to give more information on whether she faced any pressure to perform favours for the infamous Gupta family.
This aspect, if it does come up, is important based on former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor's testimony at Zondo commission in August. Mentor told the inquiry that she was invited by the eldest Gupta brother, Ajay, to the family home in Saxonworld in 2010.
She said Ajay told her that Zuma was planning to reshuffle his cabinet and proceeded to offer her a position as a minister of public enterprises.
Mentor said Ajay told her that she could only get the position if she agrees that she will abolish the South African Airways (SAA) route from India to Johannesburg.
"He said that if I agreed to facilitate that then I could become the minister of public enterprises in the near future. That startled me. He said the president was going to reshuffle his cabinet in the recent future and minister Barbara Hogan was going to be reshuffled and I could become the minister in her place when she is reshuffled if I agree that once I become the minister I would abolish SAA/India route," Mentor said.
Mentor said she refused the offer.
Shortly after Hogan was fired and replaced by Malusi Gigaba, now home affairs minister, the SAA/India route was abolished.
The Zondo commission will on Friday hear from current Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan.
The commission is investigating allegations of corruption largely centred around the infamous Gupta family and Zuma.
It has been alleged that the Gupta family used its relationship with Zuma to score business deals with state-owned enterprises. Billions were allegedly paid out to the family in suspicious business deals involving government officials.
The commission has so far heard testimony from former minister Mcebisi Jonas who testified that Ajay also offered him a ministerial position as finance minister. Jonas was also offered R600 000 cash and R600 million at a later stage.
Last week now former minister of finance Nhlanhla Nene testified at the inquiry and detailed the days leading up to his firing in December 2015. He said he was fired because he refused to approve projects favoured by Zuma which included the nuclear deal.
Nene's testimony at the inquiry has now led to his downfall as he resigned on Tuesday.
* Read more on the #StateCaptureInquiry here.IOL