Former Transnet Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Anoj Singh appeared before the Zondo commission. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
Former Transnet Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Anoj Singh appeared before the Zondo commission. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Deputy Zondo to Anoj Singh: It's like you're Mr Cash

By Kailene Pillay Time of article published Apr 23, 2021

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Johannesburg - Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo jokingly described Transnet's former Chief Financial Officer Anoj Singh as "Mr Cash" following his testimony at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Thursday.

Zondo said he found it "very peculiar" that Singh's driver testified that he would allegedly fetch suitcases of cash from the Guptas and deposit it into safety deposit boxes, use only cash to pay for his travel agent and again use only cash to settle his hotel bills that sometimes amounted to over R60 000.

"It's like you're Mr Cash," Zondo told Singh.

Singh had been fielding questions about his tenure at Transnet.

Questioned about him using the same travel agent as Gupta-owned company Sahara Computers and their associate Salim Essa, Singh said it was a mere coincidence.

He also denied knowing that his flights and accommodation were mostly allocated to Essa's account for payment.

Singh also claimed it was again a coincidence that during his travels to Dubai, he would stay at the Oberoi Hotel where the Guptas were known to frequent.

Singh was caught stumbling and fumbling over his answers at times when evidence-leader advocate Anton Myburgh questioned his frequent visits to Knox Vaults where he had acquired eight security deposit boxes.

He maintained that he could not recall what were the contents of his boxes but they were related to personal items and documents.

The former exec also vehemently denied using those boxes to store cash that was given to him by the Gupta family, as was alleged by Singh's former driver who gave the commission evidence previously.

Myburgh presented receipts showing that Singh could have paid up to R35 000 a year for all of the boxes.

At first, Singh said he could not recall why he acquired that many boxes or why he had increased their sizes to large and extra large.

After a short while, he told the commission that he and his ex-wife were going through a separation at the time and he used the boxes to store items that he was moving out of his residence.

In 2016, he cancelled the facility and returned the keys, stating that he no longer required the boxes.

His legal team said they intended on making submissions to the commission to have the questioning on his private bank accounts held in-camera.

The team objected to Singh being questioned on his private bank accounts. They asked the commission to provide them with the subpoenas before they moved ahead with that line of questioning.

Singh again denied he was a close acquaintance of the Gupta family despite admitting he celebrated a number of religious ceremonies at their Saxonwold home and was invited to the infamous Sun City family wedding.

Singh said he did not know why he was invited to these events.

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Political Bureau

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