Minister Pravin Gordhan.

CAPE TOWN - Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan yesterday explained that the failure of the Transnet board to act on damning findings of a report by law firm Werksmans was among the reasons for this week’s removal of the three remaining members.

Gordhan said the Werksmansreport was clear on what the Transnet board needed to do following the controversial R54.5 billion locomotives contract.

Gordhan said he met Transnet board members about three weeks ago and asked them to give him reasons why they should not be removed. 

He met them again last week to hear the board members’ representations.

“That is one among many considerations after hearing the representations by (the three) board members,” he said.“(On Monday) I decided, after appropriate consultation, to intervene and appoint an interim board headed by Popo Molefe.”

On Monday the Department of Public Enterprises announced the appointment of a new interim board led by ANC veteran Molefe.

Other members of the new board include Louis Zeuner, Ramasela Ganda, Ursula Fikelepi, Edward Kieswetter andDimakatso Matshoga.

The Department announced the removal of Seth Radebe, Potso Mathekga and Zainul Nagdee from the board.

On Sunday Radebe said that the board had not acted because the Werksmans findings were inconclusive.

But Gordhan yesterday read paragraphs from the report which recommended immediate suspension of implicatedTransnet employees. 

The report also said that the conduct ofTransnet’s current and former employees required further investigation by a judicial inquiry with prosecutorial and inquisitorial powers.

Werksmans was required to determine whether the process followed in procuring the 1 064 locomotives was in compliance with Transnet’s procurement policies and procedures as well as the applicable NationalTreasury regulations.

Werksmans said the March 2014 locomotive agreements might constitute wasteful expenditure. 

The report said that the nature and extent of the allegations of malfeasance at Transnet warranted a “deep dive” by the shareholder (minister) to identify those responsible for the conduct. 

Meanwhile, the fate of Public Enterprises director-general Richard hangs in the balance.

Gordhan and Seleke had been in discussions for a while “to determine where his talents are best utilised.

”Seleke is among public officials implicated in state capture. The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse last year said that Seleke passed confidential e-mails from Eskom to the Guptas. 

The organisation last year laid charges of fraud, extortion, corruption and hight reason against Seleke at the Randburg police station in Johannesburg. Gordhan said individuals implicated in state capture would get an opportunity to state their case at the Zondo Commission. 

“Everyone who is involved or allegedly involved in one or other form of malfeasance will have their day before the Zondo Commission,” he said.

-BUSSINES REPORT