Transnet board chairperson Popo Molefe. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
Transnet board chairperson Popo Molefe. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Brian Molefe played big role in Transnet's capture, Zondo commission hears

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published May 7, 2019

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Johannesburg - Former CEOs of Transnet Brian Molefe and Siyabonga Gama along with former CFO Anoj Singh were the implementors of the state capture project at Transnet, according to Transnet board chair Popo Molefe. 

Molefe gave evidence at the Zondo commission on Tuesday.

He said while the board investigated and looked at reports conducted on the management of the companies, they found that Molefe, Singh and Gama were instrumental in signing various contracts and allowed for deviations from regulations in order to benefit a few individuals.

“When we look at the history of the transactions we identified three key protagonist and the implementors of the capture of the Transnet and these were Brain Molefe, Anoj Singh and Siyabonga Gama. They signed for these big and irregular contracts including deviations on confinements and even changing evaluation criteria for some of these tender in order to facilitate entry of those companies which were their darlings,” said Molefe. 

“And then you had the man who was chairing the board’s acquisition committee which was Iqbal Sharma who was a business associate of Salim Essa, a darling of the Guptas. Sharma was working for Transnet.”

Molefe said these individuals were appointed by former public enterprises minister Malusi Gigaba who he described as “big buddy of the Guptas”.

“Transnet was the kind of company where they were diverting funds to various entities through various methods of changing prices and justifying the costs. They were using advisory services such as paying Trillian Capital (a Gupta-linked company) money for work that was not done which was in the region of R93 million,” Molefe said. 

“It was a sophisticated game played by those in power.”

The chairman said the capturing of Transnet had three pillars which helped achieve the goals of a few. 

The first was to isolate individuals in the company especially those who spoke about wrongdoing. The second was the flouting of procurement regulations, the third was push those that spoke out out of the company or make them redundant to a point that they decided to resign. The fourth aspect was to selectively apply justice and protecting a few individuals while finding negatively against others. 

The inquiry continues. 


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