Former Transnet chief executive Siyabonga Gama. Photo: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency (ANA)

JOHANNESBURG - The allegations of impropriety levelled against executives at Transnet halted the presentation to Parliament on Thursday of a report into corruption and fraud probed at the entity.

This after parliamentarians objected to being briefed by the executives whom they described as investigating themselves despite being implicated in fraud and corruption.

This happened when the entity's delegation, which was led by Popo Molefe and group chief executive officer Siyabonga Gama, appeared before the public enterprises portfolio committee on Wednesday.

The drama erupted when Transent chief audit executive Mmabatho Sukati started with her presentation at the request of Gama.

ANC's Zukile Luyenge was the first to raise concern that the committee had at its last meeting raised discomfort with executives reporting themselves while being under investigation.

His sentiments were echoed by DA's Natasha Mazzone, who said she found it incredible to receive a report from Gama, who was implicated in many allegations.

"I, myself,  in June lodged criminal charges against Mr Gama and Mr Jiyane and I find it odd that I sit in Parliament and now get a report back on the very issues I laid criminal charges against these individuals.

"I don't think it is proper. I think Mr Molefe should be taking us through this interaction," Mazzone said.

When committee chairperson Lungi Mnganga-Gcabashe afforded five minutes break for Eskom to decide who should make the presentation, ANC's Zukiswa Rantho said: "In whatever decision that the board and its executive that they will take in five minutes, the committee of public enterprises is not happy or is not comfortable with a report of investigation by the people who are investigated."

This prompted her colleague Thandi Mahambehlala said she was confused that the executives were invited only for the committee to want them to speak at the meeting.

"What are we trying to achieve because these people are accused. There is no sentence, there is no judgement," she said.

While Molefe agreed to make a presentation himself, he asked that the board be assisted on certain aspects of the report by those executives that were not implicated.

"We have been in office for 11 weeks and we hit the ground running because we had major problems dealing with the audit underway," Molefe said.

After both the committee and the Transnet delegation held separate caucuses, Mnganga-Gcabashe said they noted the board issued precautionary suspension litres to some of the executives.

"We came to a conclusion that we as portfolio committee should allow the board and give them space to continue with their processes and also familiarise themselves with certain reports as they are only few weeks in office," she said.

The report said 711 cases were recorded through the entity's hotline with 377 cases classified as fraud and corruption while 334 were related to human resources.

A total of 44 fraud and corruption could result in actions ranging from disciplinary hearing, opening criminal charges, instituting civil action and improving internal control systems.

The report listed 14 fraud and corruption cases opened with the SAPS with the police as well as 34 "sensitive allegations".

 - Political Bureau