Controversial CFO Garry Pita resigns from Transnet
CAPE TOWN - Transnet announced late on Thursday that their Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Garry Pita has resigned.
"Pita rendered his resignation after 12 years in service at Transnet," the group said.
The former CFO joined Transnet in 2006 and became their head finance officer in 2016.
Previously he served as executive director.
Pita said he would leave at the end of 2017/18 financial year due to health concerns and job strain.
“In the interest of my health and family, I have decided on a new set of priorities. I am glad that Transnet has agreed to release me at this time and wish to thank all the colleagues, members of the board for their support and guidance during my stint here. I will forever be grateful to them. The company is on a positive trajectory and is in good hands,” said Pita.
“On behalf of the board of Transnet, I wish to thank Mr Pita for his valuable contribution and commitment towards the sustainable turnaround of Transnet as it charts a new path.
"He has worked hard in assisting to carry a new vision of growth and geographical diversification, said group chief executive Siyabonga Gama.
Mark-Gregg McDonald has been placed as the interim CFO.
Last week President Cyril Ramaphosa ordered the country's Special Investigating Unit (SIU) to probe allegations of maladministration at state run-power utility Eskom and Transnet.
Ramaphosa has made the fight against corruption a key plank of his administration as he seeks to restore investor confidence after the scandal-plagued Zuma era.
The announcement of the probe was published in the government gazette.
The SIU, which investigates malpractice in state institutions, state assets, and public money, will investigate among other things, "unauthorised, irregular or fruitless and wasteful expenditure" incurred by Eskom and Transnet.
Transnet, which is also state-owned, has been investigating irregularities in the awarding of a 54 billion rand ($5 billion) contract to acquire locomotives in 2014.
Pita has had a controversial past at Transnet after he apparently endorsed a memorandum, created by former CFO Anoj Singh, to conduct a deal with Neotel in 2015.
The deal was accused of having R66 million worth of kickbacks that were paid by Neotel with the help of a company called Homix, which was linked to the controversial Gupta family.
In 2016, Pita also signed off on invoices that allowed Transnet to pay R74 million to Trillian Capital Partners for work they had apparently.
These invoices have since appeared to have been nothing more than fronts, according to a Fin24 report.
Trillian Capital Partners was then part of the Trillian Group and Salim Essa was the sole director.
Pita was apparently connected with the Gupta family and their companies even before he authorised the Trillian invoices in 2016.
-BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE