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‘Zuma forced my hand in appointing Siyabonga Gama at Transnet’

Barbara Hogan has been testifying at the inquiry about her time as minister and how former President Jacob Zuma enabled the Gupta family to capture the state.

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 told the state capture commission that former President Jacob Zuma forced her hand in the appointment of Siyabonga Gama as Transnet CEO despite him facing serious charges at the state-owned enterprise (SOE).

Hogan has been testifying at the inquiry about her time as minister and how Zuma enabled the Gupta family to capture the state.

Gama was fired from Transnet last month after he was linked to a controversial locomotives tender which saw Gupta-linked companies score a kickback of more than R5 billion.

WATCH: Hogan: Zuma interfered in appointment of Transnet CEO

Hogan says when she became minister in 2009, the Transnet board recommended Sipho Maseko, who is now Telkom CEO, for the position of chief executive at Transnet.

Hogan says she then informed Zuma about Maseko who she says had an impressive CV.

But she says Zuma didn’t want anyone else appointed as Transnet CEO, except Siyabonga Gama, even though he knew Gama was being investigated for irregularities.

“Chair, I was extremely shocked that the president would not hear of any candidate except Siyabonga Gama. I informed him that he was facing some serious misconduct charges.”

Hogan says Zuma instructed her not to appoint anyone until Gama’s disciplinary hearing was over. She says it was at that point when she realised Zuma was exceeding his authority.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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