Carolus: 'Gigaba was deliberately sabotaging state-owned enterprises'
Former South African Airways (SAA) board chairperson Cheryl Carolus says that Malusi Gigaba left the local airline in a shocking state of paralysis when he was moved from the Public Enterprises ministry.
JOHANNESBURG – Former South African Airways (SAA) board chairperson Cheryl Carolus says that Malusi Gigaba left the local airline in a shocking state of paralysis when he was moved from the Public Enterprises ministry.
Carolus testified at the state capture commission on Thursday where she accused Gigaba of having misrepresented facts and made utterances that questioned the competence of local airline’s board.
She also told the inquiry that the former minister once allowed people out of government to pressurise the local airline to drop its route to Mumbai.
Carolus has described Gigaba’s tenure as Public Enterprises minister as disappointing and reckless.
“The minister was at best negligent and at worst, in fact, hostile. It was shocking where SAA ended under Mr Gigaba.”
She has suggested that Gigaba wanted the SAA board to do things to favour the Gupta family.
“I think he would have wanted us to sign off on things like the Jet Airways and The New Age things.”
She says the minister was deliberately sabotaging state-owned enterprises.
The commission is expected to resume next week-with former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor expected to take the stand.
WATCH: Cheryl Carolus gives evidence at Zondo Commission
Carolus called on people who can assist the commission with evidence of state capture not to be discouraged by attacks on the commission.
She says the commission of inquiry is important for the country.
“I must say I was appalled by the vitriol levelled at some of the people who did appear here such as Minister [Pravin] Gordhan in particular, but perhaps even more frightening was the level of vitriol against the commission itself.”
Carolus says the airline’s route to Mumbai, India, was important for connecting major global flows of trade through Johannesburg.
“The Mumbai route was particularly important for us in that expansion in what we call the east-west corridor. Bringing passengers from Beijing and Mumbai were our key markets, where South Africa was growing its own trade and those same people we were trading with were also trading into Africa.
"It was a very important one for us to connect major global flows of trade through Johannesburg as a hub. That was significant for us at the time of building up the Mumbai route.”
(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)