Ex-minister Barbara Hogen has dropped a new bombshell.
A Dark cloud is apparently hanging around President Zuma after the recent courageous steps taken by top ANC leaders to voice out the extent the Gupta family has influenced the government.
The startling confessions by these top leaders have being seen by many as an eye-opener. And I bet you, most South Africans want to hear more.
The deputy finance minister was the first to be sighted on the firing lane following a report by London-based daily – Financial Times which alleged that deputy finance minister Jonas was offered the office of the finance minister few days before finance minister Nene was fired.
Although at first, Jonas was silent on the issue, he finally opened up on Wednesday, revealing that the millionaire family actually offered him the job but that he turned it down.
On her part, Mentor alleged that the Guptas also offered her a ministerial job provided she would give them a route to India that was being operated by the South African Airways.
While many were still trying to recover from Mentor’s bombshell, another one was released by public enterprises ex-minister Barbara Hogen, the latest senior African National Congress (ANC) leader to publicize the height of the Gupta family’s alleged influence over government appointments and business deals. She was appointed minister by Zuma after he became head of state in 2009.
Speaking to John Robbie on Radio 702 on Tuesday morning‚ Hogen confirmed that she came under pressure to meet with a Gupta family linked airline over its business interests, but says she refused. Jet Airways is a Gupta linked company. It was the airline which landed the Gupta’s wedding guests at Waterkloof airport leading to massive controversy.
She however said that she was not surprised at the claims by former ANC Member of Parliament (MP) Vytjie Mentor, that she was offered the position on condition that she make a favourable business decision for the Guptas.
“There was always talk of how many people were visiting them behind the scenes. I cannot tell you how much pressure I was put under to meet with Jet Airways, and I refused. I am absolutely not surprised that Vytjie Mentor is confirming this.”
Speaking further on Talk Radio 702, she said, “This is a defining moment, this cannot be swept under the carpet.” She described the decision by Mcebisi Jonas to reveal how the Guptas had offered him the finance ministry as ‘courageous’.
“I was always aware while I was minister that there were forces behind my back.”
“We have not understood as the ANC‚ properly‚ what are the boundaries between government and politics.”
There needed to be firm boundaries between ‘undue influence and empowerment,“ she said.
She urged the ANC to tackle the allegations of corruption and undue influence by the Guptas and clean up the “rot”.
She defiantly said, “The rotten forces are on the back foot. I would appeal to those people who believe that they still have to defend Zuma and who have benefited from a close relationship with the Guptas, to now stand back and move on. They are not going to win this battle.”
Meanwhile, the ANC says the party will handle the matter.