Former Transnet chief financial officer (CFO) Anoj Singh testified at the Zondo commission on Thursday. Screengrab: SABC/YouTube
Former Transnet chief financial officer (CFO) Anoj Singh testified at the Zondo commission on Thursday. Screengrab: SABC/YouTube

LIVE FEED: State Capture Inquiry, May 28, 2021

By Kailene Pillay Time of article published May 28, 2021

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Johannesburg - The Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture will continue to hear Transnet related evidence from its former chief financial officer Anoj Singh on Friday.

Singh took the stand yesterday giving evidence related to dodgy transactions that saw the Gupta enterprise pocket billions of rand during his tenure.

Deputy chief Justice Raymond Zondo called on Singh to explain how the Guptas were able to make away with billions of rand under his watch at the parastatal, saying Singh was either party to their agenda or incompetent.

“Either you were party to their agenda or you were so incompetent that you couldn’t see all of this. There may be another scenario, but I can’t think of anything else,” Zondo said.

He also stunned the inquiry when he said that the highly irregular contract for the procurement of 1 064 locomotives – that set the scene for the greatest Gupta looting – was “quite a significant achievement” in South African history.

“I think it was quite a significant achievement for Transnet to acquire 1 064 locos in the time that it did. I think it’s probably quite significant in South Africa, if not globally.

“I mean you don’t have a company that orders 1 100 locomotives at any given time,” Singh said.

But, Zondo intercepted to ask Singh to clarify his statement. “Do you think people will remember that more than the corruption?

“That’s the first thing that comes to people’s minds when we talk about those transactions – the corruption,” Zondo said.

Evidence-leader Advocate Anton Myburgh added that the cash-flow evidence showed Essa earned 50% in all fees paid to Regiments Capital by McKinsey from contracts awarded by Transnet.

“Just so that the public understands this. You were relying on the advice of an organisation (Regiments); it was paying 50c for every rand to Mr Essa.

“I mean, do you understand how radical that is?” Myburgh said.

Singh said he had no idea Essa was earning these kickbacks or that he was even involved in the procurement of locomotives.

The inquiry is expected to begin at 10am.

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