I was never paid cash loaded in a suitcase, says former Transnet boss Anoj Singh
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Johannesburg - Former Transnet group chief financial officer (GCFO) Anoj Singh has denied allegations that Asian businessmen – who were allegedly awarded multibillion contracts at the freight rail agency – paid him kickbacks in cash loaded in a luxury suitcase.
Singh made the denial on Friday at the commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture hearings following the testimony of his driver who allegedly loaded the cash into Transnet’s official vehicle in July 2014.
In August last year, Witness 3 – whose identity could not be revealed for his safety – testified about seeing four Asian men at Three Rivers Lodge in Vereeniging, a venue where senior Transnet executives including former group chief executive officer Brian Molefe had a week-long strategic planning session.
“On my arrival at the venue. It was on a Friday. I witnessed four Asian men – I think they were Chinese. Two of them were on their phones. While observing them, I saw the others carrying two suitcases – one black and the other maroon. They were moving towards the entrance of the lodge.
“Later, I got a WhatsApp message from Singh to come to his meeting venue,” Witness 3 said.
He said inside the meeting venue, he found Singh and Molefe in the company of the two Chinese men.
“Moments later, Singh told me to take the suitcase to our car. I took the bag. It was heavy and I loaded it into the boot of our car. Later on, while waiting for Singh in the car, I saw Brian Molefe’s driver. I am not sure if it was Witness 1 or his colleague carrying a black suitcase. It was the same suitcase I saw being carried by one of the Chinese men.”
He said he saw Singh’s suitcase the next Friday when he was about to take Singh’s personal car for a wash.
“I opened the boot and found the same maroon suitcase in the boot. I opened it and found R100 and R200 notes but it was not heavy. I made Singh aware and he came to the parking lot to fetch the suitcase,” Witness 3 said, but Singh has vehemently denied this.
Singh also denied Witness 3’s testimony that he also received bags loaded with cash from the Guptas during his alleged frequent visits at the compound. Witness 3 said Singh would later deposit the same case at Knox Vault in Killarney on more than six occasions.
Singh denied he received cash from the Guptas but confirmed that he owned four to five vault boxes at the same venue. He said he used the boxes to store important documents related to his work and family business including depositing cash up to R100 000.
He claimed that he deposited cash after making extra cash by moonlighting as a financial consulting agent.
He said he also gambled a lot at casinos and participated in horse racing bets.
“I did not get any money from the Guptas. I moonlighted while employed at Transnet,” Singh said.
In his testimony, he denied ever asking Witness 3 to drive him to Knox Vault or to the Guptas saying: “I would not use Witness 3 or any of Transnet resources for my private things.”
But Singh had difficulty to explain how Witness 3 knew about the vault box and its location in Killarney.
Denying, Singh said Witness 3 was either influenced by the commission’s investigators or Transnet’s employees.
“Witness 3 was spoon fed. This is my assertion. His entire version is a fabrication. The Commission investigators knew that a lot of individuals who had boxes at Knox Vault,” Singh said.
The commission is expected to set a date for Singh’s next appearance.