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By Brian Sokutu

Senior Print Journalist

Capture of ‘cash cow’ Transnet to be detailed at inquiry

Transnet lost billions through corruption and malfeasance during the Jacob Zuma presidency.

Thirteen witnesses, including Transnet chairperson Popo Molefe, will give evidence before the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on how powerful Gupta-linked individuals turned the state-owned enterprise (SOE) into a cash cow.

Transnet lost billions through corruption and malfeasance during the Jacob Zuma presidency.

Taking Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo through forensic reports on graft, commission evidence leader Paul Pretorius and senior counsel Mahlape Sello outlined key areas witnesses would cover.

These include:

  • A R34 million payment from Transnet to Gupta-linked shell company Homix Pty Ltd by Neotel for facilitating a R300 million CCTV cameras contract with the SOE, although Neotel was not legally accredited to do it.
  • How the Transnet treasury was sidelined by CEOs and board members and its mandate carried out by external consultants McKinsey, Regiments and Trillian to oversee awarding of big contracts.
  • The fraudulent and illegal acquisition of locomotives from China and Bombardier at highly inflated prices.
  • Centralising procurement at headquarters, which paved the way for looting of state resources.
  • How a market demand strategy to make Transnet competitive turned into a vehicle for looting.
  • Transnet Engineering’s manufacturing unit’s relocation to Durban at a cost of R1.2 billion from initial cost of R9.7 million.
  • How the Gupta-owned The New Age newspaper reported in 2010 on the pending appointment of Brian Molefe as group CEO the following year.
  • The role of Siyabonga Gama, former chief financial officers Anoj Singh and Gary Peter, and former Engineering CE Thamsanqa Jiyane in questionable deals.
  • Trillian’s appointment as advisor on the multibillion-rand locomotives deal without an open tender.

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