The Hawks have finally begun to act against the alleged Gupta/Salim Essa / KPMG McKinsey corruption involving the theft of billions in the R500 million Free State Department of Agriculture and the R1.6bn with McKinsey/Trillian/Anoj Singh. Parliament is busy with the enquiry on Eskom. More is to be unravelled.
What still needs to be investigated and immediate action taken is the alleged theft of tax payers’ billions by German IT company T-Systems, who acquired a state owned IT company Arivia.Kom in 2010.
The deal came with two lucrative multibillion rand IT Data Outsource contracts with Eskom and Transnet respectively, which had five years with an option for another two years (up to December 2016). By 2013 both SOE’s were not impressed with the German IT giant as their services were far below par. The two were not considering extending the contracts at all until the space was entered by the Guptas through the new Transnet Acquisitions and Disposals Committee chairman, Iqbal Sharma.
For T-Systems to have their contract extended for another two years from January 2014 to December 2016, the Guptas/Salim Essa entered into a partnership that secured the extension of contracts by Eskom and Transnet as part of the corrupt deal between the Guptas/Salim Essa through their company Sechaba Computer Services. T-Systems sold their critical data centre and outsourced the end user computing to Sechaba Computer Services.
Since Sechaba Computer Services did not have the capacity, staff members were transferred from T-Systems who would service both Transnet and Eskom, even though Eskom had already gone on tender and the incumbent (T-Systems) was on the losing side with competitors having tendered at almost a billion rand cheaper. The Gupta aligned procurement chairman/acting chief executive cancelled the tender award that would have been taken it away from T-Systems. Thereafter the two contracts were mysteriously extended with the Gupta’s Sechaba Computer Services as a supplier development partner.
The long serving T-Systems BEE partners were booted out and to hide the Gupta sham, a staff incentive scheme was set up by T-Systems with vendor financing. Sechaba Computer Services was supposed to pay R85m for the acquisition of the T-Systems data centre but no money exchanged hands.
In early 2016, Eskom and Transnet went out on tender for the multi-billion IT Data Services contracts. Transnet evaluated tenders and ultimately Gijima, a black-owned company, was on top and was recommended to Transnet board for the award of the R1.5bn contract over five years, which is over R1bn cheaper than T-Systems' current inflated evergreen contract.
To management’s surprise, the Transnet board initially led by Sharma’s replacement, who is also an alleged Gupta man, Stanley Shane, and board chairman Linda Mabaso, decided to ignore management and the evaluation team’s recommendation and, instead, awarded the contract to T- Systems and their Gupta/Salim Essa’s Sechaba Computer Services, who were ranked second in the evaluation report.
Gijima took their legal complaint to the Transnet ombudsman, then to National Treasury in April last year, following the unlawful award to T-Systems/GuptaSechaba JV. Gijima was successful with their complaint and Treasury gave a directive to the Transnet board to immediately rescind their unlawful award after threatening to have the board charged for wasteful expenditure. Instead of rescinding the award, the corrupt Gupta board members ordered that the management approach the High Court for a declaratory order backing the rescinding decision.
This was another ploy to continue to extend the now 2016 expired IT Data Services contract. Since January last year, T-Systems and Gupta’s Sechaba have continued to claim at least R800m per annum from Transnet for an amount of at least R70m per month, instead of R30m , which was to be charged by Gijima in terms of its tender price.
Following public outrage, the focus by Parliament’s portfolio committee and the media queries on the incumbent T-Systems and the Gupta state capture, the incumbent appointed their attorneys, Fluxmans, to investigate the allegations against their partners - the Guptas/Salim Essa.
The lawyers of T-Systems completed their investigation and recommended that T-Systems terminate their contracts with Gupta-linked companies, namely Sechaba Computer Services, Global Software Solutions (GSS), CADhouse and Zestilor.
What is surprising is the fact that T-Systems, by terminating their contracts with the above- mentioned Gupta companies, are now in breach of their current extended contract with Transnet and the unlawfully awarded new contract is in dispute.
How on earth is Transnet and National Treasury rolling over and accepting a company that is in breach of its current supplier development contract to continue to rape the country and Transnet of billions of rand while we await a court date .
It is alleged that the old friends of Gupta/Salim Essa, Transnet Group chief financial officer (ex chief procurement officer) Garry Pita, and the new chief procurement officer Edward Thomas, visited Germany as guests of T-Systems during the new tender evaluation in 2016, which is unlawful.
Conveniently but not surprising, the voice of Gupta-linked minister Lynne Brown has been silent on the major IT Data Services tender fiasco.
And why is Fluxmans still continuing to represent T-Systems, if they are the ones who found evidence of Gupta involvement with Sechaba Computer Services and other Gupta partner companies with T-Systems?
If KPMG and McKinsey are suffering and ostracised for having involved themselves with the Guptas' criminal activities that looted billions in tax payer’s money, why not T-Systems and Fluxmans?
The Hawks should investigate how much money has been paid by T-Systems to the Guptas and Fluxmans, since the Hormix payment from Neotel. It is known that T-Systems and its partner Broadband Infraco (BI) failed to deliver on the Transnet Telecoms R3bn contract. The Guptas, through Salim Essa, who was a director of BI, facilitated a deal with Neotel where payment was made by Neotel to the Gupta’s and T-Systems through their chief executive Gert Schoombee for Neotel to step on the shoes of failure to deliver, T- Systems.
The lawyers of T-Systems and the Guptas are aware that they have no chance to win the IT Data Services tender award case in court, but their legal strategy is to drag out the case so that they continue to rape the taxpayers and loot Transnet of billions of rand using a 2016 expired and inflated contract.
The deafening silence from Business Leadership SA (BLSA) and the Black Business Council (BBC), who enjoy membership of T-Systems, is not surprising anymore. The vigour they had against KPMG and McKinsey has been softened because of the donations received from T-Systems and the Gupta’s Sechaba Computer Services.
Both BLSA and BBC should disclose and return all monies (membership fees and donations) received from T-Systems and the Gupta/Salim Essa Sechaba/Trillian.
* Keswa is a businesswoman. She writes in her personal capacity. Follow her on Twitter @lebokeswa
** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.