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Siyabonga Gama and other former Transnet bigwigs charged for R93m fraud get bail

Five former executives of state-owned enterprise Transnet, arrested on charges including fraud, corruption and money laundering. Picture: Investigative Directorate

Five former executives of state-owned enterprise Transnet, arrested on charges including fraud, corruption and money laundering. Picture: Investigative Directorate

Published May 27, 2022

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Pretoria - Five former executives of state-owned enterprise Transnet, arrested earlier today on charges including fraud, corruption and money laundering, have been granted bail ranging from R25 000 to R250 000.

Regional magistrate presiding over the matter in the Palm Ridge Magistrates’ Court, Brian Nemavhidi cautioned the accused men to appear in court on July 13.

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It emerged earlier on Friday that former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama was among the five people arrested in relation to numerous allegations of breaching the Public Finance Management Act, fraud, corruption and money laundering.

Gama was charged together with the following four individuals:

Eric Wood, shareholder at Gupta-linked company Regiments Capital;

Garry Pita, former acting group chief financial officer;

Phetolo Ramosebudi, former group treasurer;

Daniel Roy, Trillian asset management director.

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Five former executives of State-owned enterprise Transnet, arrested on charges including fraud, corruption and money laundering. Photo: Investigative Directorate

Three of the accused were granted bail of R50 000 each, with the exception of Wood and Ramosebudi, who were given bail of R250 000 and R25 000, respectively.

“In 2012, Transnet went on a Request for Proposal tender to get transaction advisory services to secure funding for $2.5 billion (equivalent of R30 billion at the time) to fund the acquisition of the 1 064 locomotives deal,” spokesperson for the Investigative Directorate Sindisiwe Seboka explained.

“Later in May 2015, Transnet appointed JB Morgan for advisory services. In July to October 2015, the same officials in Transnet started facilitating the termination of the JB Morgan contract. A cancellation resulted in them appointing Trillian in October 2015,” said Seboka.

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She said an invoice of R93.4 million was submitted by Trillian through Daniel Roy, who served as a director. The invoice was approved by Pita and Gama, and payment was made on December 3, 2015, into Trillian’s account.

“Three days after that, R74 million was paid to Albatime, owned by Kuben Moodley, for no apparent reason. Prior to that, payment by Transnet was made to Regiments for R189 million, in June 2015, for the alleged same services,” said Seboka.

She said head of the Investigative Directorate advocate Andrea Johnson is “confident that the ID is on track to hold accountable those alleged to have been at the centre of, or facilitated state capture”.

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The Transnet case is the second seminal matter enrolled this week, and the ID said more can be expected within six months.

Johnson has extended appreciation to the Hawks for their assistance in this high-profile matter.

The five accused joined businessman Kuben Moodley at the dock, who was arrested in September 2021.

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