Barbara Hogan: ANC often interfered in appointing executives at SOEs

Former Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan is testifying at the state capture commission about her time as minister and whether she was put under pressure to take certain decisions by the Gupta family.

FILE: A video screengrab of Barbara Hogan appearing at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture on 12 November 2018.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan has questioned whether the African National Congress (ANC)’s deployment committee is effective, saying the governing party has often interfered and tried to instruct her on who to appoint to leadership positions at state-owned enterprises (SOEs).

Hogan is testifying at the state capture commission about her time as minister and whether she was put under pressure to take certain decisions by the Gupta family.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo asked Hogan if the governing party gets involved in the appointment of board members and senior executives at SOEs.

She confirmed that when she was minister, the ANC’s deployment committee got involved.

“For a handful of people to simply just decide that this is their preferred candidate; on what basis? What transparency is there?”

She says the ANC often interfered and has cited an example where the national working committee tried to instruct her to appoint certain people at SOEs.

“That is an abuse of power and that is usurping executive authority. Why have a minister if you’re going to instruct that minister about what happens? I feel the same way very strongly about Parliament.”

Hogan has warned that government will always be impacted negatively if the ANC’s deployment committee is captured by forces.

'ZUMA'S INTERFERENCE ERODED MY AUTHORITY'

Hogan has told the commission that former President Jacob Zuma often interfered in her work, and as a result, eroded her executive authority.

She also told the commission that Zuma insisted that now suspended Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama be appointed to the position despite the fact that he was facing a disciplinary hearing at the time.

Hogan says she was appointed minister of Public Enterprises after the Polokwane conference.

She says it was during that time that factional battles encouraged nepotism and patronage.

“Then there were ways that President Zuma and some Cabinet colleagues thwarted my attempts to get Cabinet approval for board appointments. And I stress the word ‘thwarted’.”

Hogan says Zuma’s interference was visible.

“The inexcusable interference with my responsibility as a minister by president Zuma that eroded my executive authority.”

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)