Former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan has pulled former president Jacob Zuma and the ANC squarely into the fray of the state capture inquiry, spelling out startling political interference in the appointment of the Transnet group CEO.

In the first day of damning testimony, Hogan told judge Raymond Zondo how Zuma flouted the law and the constitution by trying to usurp her authority as minister by forcing the appointment of Siyabonga Gama as the CEO of Transnet in 2009, against the recommendation of the parastatal’s board.

Hogan also testified how the ANC, the SACP, the ANC Youth League and the South African Transport and Allied Workers Union (Satawu) applied public pressure to muscle through Gama’s appointment, despite the fact that he was at the time facing charges of misconduct for tender irregularities. She said the organisations made “false allegations” that Gama was being sidelined because she and the Transnet board wanted to appoint a white candidate when the highly capable Sipho Maseko, now CEO of Telkom, was in fact recommended for the position. Zuma instructed the withdrawal of Hogan’s memorandum to cabinet recommending Maseko for the position, insisting the post be held in abeyance until the completion of Gama’s disciplinary process. Hogan also testified how two of her cabinet colleagues, now energy minister Jeff Radebe and former communications minister Siphiwe Nyanda, made public declarations that Gama would be appointed, and claimed he was being unfairly persecuted in the same way Zuma h...

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