Transnet moves to suspend eight senior executives

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Transnet

Transnet has already fired group CEO Siyabonga Gama, suspended other senior executives and issued summonses to recover money lost in the procurement of 1,064 locomotives

Eight senior executives at Transnet, who have been implicated in forensic reports dating as far back as 2011, have been issued precautionary suspension letters.

The state-owned rail and freight company said it was giving the executives 48 hours to provide reasons they should not be suspended.

Transnet acting CEO Tau Morwe said the letters were issued to senior executives ranging from general managers to executive managers.

“Recommendations emanating from the reports were not followed up by the management. We have been receiving anonymous complaints from employees about some of the allegations covered in the reports,” he said.

Transnet and other state-owned entities were used for looting as part of state capture. The company is expected to appear before the state capture commission of inquiry later this year.

Since the new board was appointed in 2018, it has been moving to clean-up the entity and take action against those implicated in maladministration and malfeasance in the parastatal.

It has already dismissed its group CEO, Siyabonga Gama, suspended other senior executives and issued summonses to recover the money the entity lost in the procurement of 1,064 locomotives.

This includes Gama, other former CEO Brian Molefe, and former CFO and Gupta ally Anoj Singh.

Several investigative reports have found anomalies in procurement processes followed when General Electric, Bombardier, China North Rail  and China South Rail were awarded contracts for the acquisition of locomotives worth R54bn.

Transnet is also looking to recover money given to transactional advisers such as Trillian and Regiments Capital.

The entity has been reviewing all contracts at the company, including those for the 1,064 locomotives.

Transnet spokesperson Molatwane Likhethe said on Monday that the decision to issue the precautionary suspension letters to the eight executives was taken after the realisation that reports done over a number of years had been piling up, with no follow-up.

“The impression has thus been created that forensic reports findings were only followed up to selected employees,” he said.

“In order to ensure equity and fairness to all affected, Transnet has sourced an external support service to conclude and finalise recommendations made in these reports.”

Detailed charges would be announced once all the investigations had been concluded.

Molatwane said the suspensions were being handled in an open and transparent manner and that all this was being done with the objective of ensuring good governance and restoring integrity at Transnet.

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