Guptas may have paid for India trip, admits Barbara Hogan
Former public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan has admitted that both her and her late husband, struggle icon Ahmed Kathrada, had not known that a trip to India may have been indirectly sponsored by the Gupta family through their associates.
Testifying at the commission of inquiry into state capture, Hogan said Kathrada was invited by the SA High Commission in India to address various bodies in commemoration of stalwart Nelson Mandela. She said the trip happened after she was axed as minister of public enterprises.
She said the high commission had informed the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation that they were arranging the trip and thereafter forwarded plane tickets.
“I got the shock of my life about six months ago when I got a phone call from a journalist saying: ‘tell me about the trip the Guptas sponsored for you and [Kathrada]’. I then went into the records held by [Ahmed Kathrada Foundation] of his travels; this documentation before us is what the foundation had,” Hogan said.
“We didn’t think to question anything further. When I looked at the travel arrangements, it was Jet Airways. The only indication that it had anything to do with the Gupta family was in the small forwarding e-mail from the travel agency to Ashu Chawla… I don’t know who paid for everything.”
Chawla served as the CEO at Gupta-owned Sahara Computers.