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Transnet arrests: Investigative Directorate warns that more people will be nabbed

Former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama. File Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama. File Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

Published May 27, 2022

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Pretoria – The Investigative Directorate of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said the arrest of the five former bigwigs of state-owned enterprise Transnet will be followed with more arrests.

The five face charges including fraud and money laundering in connection with Transnet’s bid to acquire more than 1 000 locomotives between 2012 and 2017. The State Capture report released by Chief Justice Raymond Zondo revealed that around R70 billion was spent on the project.

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“As you know, the NPA’s Investigative Directorate started working with the Hawks and that investigations were authorised. Transnet is one of the matters we’ve looked into. We must also state that this is the second seminal matter told to Parliament by NDPP Shamila Batohi as well as Advocate Andre Johnson a few weeks ago,” Investigating Directorate’s spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka told broadcaster Newzroom Afrika at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court.

“What we can say is that more arrests can be expected,” she said.

Seboka could not be drawn into disclosing the names of the five people arrested on Friday, before they appeared in court.

Former Transnet chief executive officer Siyabonga Gama is reportedly among the five people arrested in relation to numerous allegations of breaching the Public Finance Management Act, fraud, corruption and money laundering.

According to News24, two of the five include former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama and Eric Wood from the Gupta-linked companies Regiments Capital and Trillian Capital Partners.

The Gupta-linked companies are also accused of fraud, corruption, and money laundering after doing ‘advisory work’ for Transnet during the acquisition of at least 1 064 locomotives.

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“The Investigating Directorate and the Hawks have arrested five accused who will appear before the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court sitting as the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court this morning,” Seboka said in a statement released earlier.

“The arrests took place around seven this morning at the Brackendowns Police Station. They are charged with contravention of the Public Finance Management Act, fraud, corruption and money laundering,” the statement said.

Last year, Gama told the Commission of Inquiry into state capture that his disciplinary charges in 2009 at the freight rail agency were a ploy to prevent him from succeeding Maria Ramos as the GCEO.

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Gama was reacting to questions posed by the evidence leader advocate Anton Myburgh that his reinstatement to the post as CEO in April 2011 had been politically motivated and former president Jacob Zuma was behind it.

This is a developing story.

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