Former minister of public enterprises Barbara Hogan will take the stand on Wednesday at the commission of inquiry into state capture.
Hogan’s name came up at the inquiry during ex-MP Vytjie Mentor’s evidence two weeks ago. Mentor told the commission, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, that Gupta family patriarch Ajay offered her the post of public enterprises minister in 2010 to replace Hogan. The former MP was chairperson of parliament’s state enterprises committee at the time.
She said she was told the post of public enterprises minister would be hers only if she agreed to discontinue the South African Airways (SAA) flights to Mumbai, India. Mentor said the offer was made at the Gupta’s Saxonwold compound while former president Jacob Zuma was in the next room. She refused to take the offer, she said. Malusi Gigaba was then appointed public enterprises minister and implemented the Guptas’ instruction taking away the Mumbai route from SAA, replacing SAA with Jet Airways, Mentor testified.
The commission today heard how the Gupta media entities, Infinity Media (ANN7) and The New Age newspaper scored R260 million from government departments. At least 95 percent of the money, R248 million, went to the newspaper, said National Treasury official Jan Gilliland. He tracked and traced millions paid by the Government Communication and Information Systems (GCIS), other State departments, and provincial premiers to the Guptas.
Gilliland said between 2011 and 2012 GCIS spending on the Gupta-owned media house increased dramatically while Mzwanele ”Jimmy” Manyi was in charge at GCIS, having replaced Themba Maseko. Gilliland testified that Gupta entities received R7 million in 2011 and R29 million in 2012. TNA was launched in 2010, while ANN7 started broadcasting three years later in 2013.
Manyi then took over control of the media entities from the Guptas through a vendor financing deal in 2017, as the family packed and left South Africa for Dubai. The former government spin doctor has successfully liquidated the media company, citing insolvency.
Zondo is this week expected to rule on applications by the Guptas and Duduzane to cross-examine witnesses.
– African News Agency (ANA)