Photo: SABC/Screengrab.

Johannesburg - Former Transnet chief financial officer Anoj Singh sidelined the state-owned company’s sufficiently resourced and qualified treasury in favour of Gupta associates during negotiations for a multi-billion rand deal to buy hundreds of locomotives.

Mathane Makgatho, Transnet’s group treasurer between March 2013 to November 2014, described how her former boss even issued instructions that she not be allowed in the data room whee documents submitted by bidders for the 1 064 locomotives contract were kept.

She told the commission of inquiry into state capture on Thursday that she ignored Singh’s instruction and spent an entire week in the data room and was shocked to realise similarities between the documents of two or three bidders.

According to Makgatho, some of the bidders had the same Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) partner when ordinarily each and every bidder ought have a different BEE partner.

She said she informed then Transnet supply chain general manager Garry Pita about her concern.

"At that stage I didn’t know that Garry Pita would be Anoj’s enabler,” Makgatho said.

She said Singh even refused to allow her to speak to the bidders.

Makgatho said when Singh met multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs in August 2014 he instructed his staff not invite her and her team.

"No treasury to attend,” Singh wrote in his electronic diary.

Instead, Transnet’s treasury was replaced with Pita, McKinsey‘s Vikas Sagar and Gupta associate Eric Wood, who was a director of Regiments Capital at the time.

Makgatho said she led a sufficiently resourced, qualified and experienced team of 32 professionals including chartered financial analyst, chartered accountants, mathematicians, commercial lawyers and economists, among others.

She described it as a solid team with between 10 and 30-35 years experience. 

Political Bureau