Testimony from former SA Airways (SAA) board chair Cheryl Carolus has highlighted how Malusi Gigaba facilitated a meeting with a major Indian international airline, Jet Airways, on shutting down SAA’s controversial flight route between Mumbai and Johannesburg.
The state capture inquiry heard in earlier testimony how the Gupta family tried to pressurise politicians to drop the lucrative route and instead award it to Jet Airways.
Carolus, who served as board chair between 2009 and 2012 under public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan and her successor Gigaba, said on Thursday that SAA had continually shunned meeting with Jet Airways over the lucrative route until Gigaba came into office.
Testifying at the state capture inquiry, Carolus said Jet Airways went on an “aggressive campaign” against SAA over the flight route.
“The matter of the Mumbai route was never initiated by us with Hogan initially. One is open to all kinds of options always and collaborations with other airlines. Having four flights a week was not optimal. We wanted a flight every day between Mumbai and Johannesburg,” Carolus said.