Johannesburg – Former Minister of Public Affairs, Barbara Hogan, told Wednesday how the Indian airline Jet Airways urged SA Air (Airways) to drop the lucrative Mumbai route, so that it takes over.
Hogan continued to give testimony before the commission of the state was imprisoned, chaired by deputy chief judge Raymond Zondo. She remembered a state visit to India together with former President Jacob Zuma in June 2010.
& # 39; & # 39; While there [in India]My adviser told me that SAA was planning to end the route to Mumbai. I was surprised by that because SAA opened it to maintain a growing business and tourist route. I was also aware that many SAA international routes were losing, Mumbai was the least loss-making route … that route was important for trade, especially for BRICS [Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa]… so I was confused, & # 39; & # 39; Hogan said.
She said that she then sent an SMS to the then SAA board chairman Cheryl Carolus who inquired about the route in Mumbai, looking for clarity.
Hogan continued: & # 39; & # 39; She [Carolus] answered and said no, we will not cancel the route to Mumbai … it should be that Jet Airways still offers this. & # 39; & # 39;
Her adviser warned her of the fact that Jet Airways CEO, a Mr Goyal, had committed himself during site meetings between Indian and South African officials.
I have made it clear that I would not meet him … it became a desperate situation from that moment on. We had to attend a fashion show there, and after the show Mr. Goyal caused such a scene, he jumped over me and told me he wanted to see me. I told him you had to meet the SAA director and the board … & # 39; I have nothing to tell you & # 39 ;, & # 39; said Hogan.
Later in the same year, in August, Carolus sent her a text in which she was warned that Goyal will be in South Africa the next day. Hogan read the text message for: & # 39; & # 39; Hello B. For your information, SAA will be on Scopa tomorrow. Also note that the CEO of Jet Airways will be in SA. He is lobbying hard for SAA to drop the Mumbai route. Confirm if he is trying to meet you so that we can keep it short. & # 39; & # 39;
Two months later, in October 2010, Zuma Hogan sacked and replaced her with Malusi Gigaba. The wishes of Jet Airways have come true because SAA later canceled the route to Mumbai.
Hogan's testimony on the route to Mumbai confirmed that former Member of Parliament Vytjie Mentor testified in the committee about the offer of the post of the Minister of Economic Affairs in 2010, if she agreed to cancel the Mumbai route . Mentor said she was called for a meeting by Zuma's assistant Lakela Kaunda. She was taken to the Saxon castle of the Gupta, where Ajay Gupta, with Zuma in the house, told her that Hogan would be fired. Gupta continued to offer her Hogan post, which she refused.
Three years later, in 2013, a Jet Airways plane landed at the Waterkloof airbase of the South African National Defense in Pretoria, with hundreds of guests from India on their way to a wedding of the Gupta family in Sun City in the northwest. The incident caused a huge public outcry.
African news agency (ANA)