Transnet execs plot to pay millions to Gupta-linked company – report
The senior executives at Transnet reportedly colluded to allow inflated payments of R189 million to be made to Gupta-linked Regiments Capital.
Former Transnet group CEO Siyabonga Gama. Picture: ANA
Senior executives at state-owned enterprise (SOE) Transnet reportedly colluded to allow inflated payments of R189 million to be made to Gupta-linked Regiments Capital, News24 reports.
The news website reports that this was revealed in court papers filed by the SOE to the High Court in Johannesburg last Thursday.
Transnet is reportedly seeking to recover the R189 million.
These executives reportedly include recently axed Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama and the SOE’s former chief financial officer (CFO) Anoj Singh.
The court papers stated these executives, including former Transnet group treasurer Robert Ramosebudi and former CFO Garry Pita, fraudulently colluded to cause the SEO to make the inflated payment of R151 million to Regiments Capital.
Other allegations reportedly levelled against the executives in the court papers include that Singh and Pita had put forward the suggestion that Gama officially agree to pay R166 million to the Gupta-linked company, despite having been aware or should have been aware that Regiments Capital was actually owed R15 million. This recommendation was reportedly made in a memorandum dated May 19 2015.
Regiments Capital, according to the court papers, reportedly handed in an invoice of R166 million on June 3 2015, which Singh reportedly signed eight days later on June 11 2015.
On July 16 2015, Gama, as chief executive at the time, reportedly approved the R166 million payment to Regiments Capital.
The defendants in the matter have reportedly failed to or refused to pay the SOE R189 million despite a demand dated October 23 this year that they do so.
Meanwhile, former minister of public enterprises Barbara Hogan gave evidence related to her tenure as minister from 2009 to 2010, in which she testified about former president Jacob Zuma’s interference in appointments made for the CEO vacancy at Transnet.
According to Hogan, the Transnet board had received documentation supporting allegations of misconduct against Gama from their internal auditors during the CEO appointment process.
Hogan, however, said Zuma would not hear of any candidate except Gama.
Hogan said she had informed Zuma about how formal the appointment process was and that Gama was, at the time, facing misconduct allegations and that the board was obliged to investigate these charges in terms of the public finance management act (PFMA).
Hogan said she had advised Zuma about another candidate who had received “glowing recommendations” and that this advice was met with intense resistance from Zuma who continued to insist on Gama’s appointment.
– additional reporting, Kaunda Selisho