DA to add ‘Traingate’ report to criminal charges against Molefe and Gupta associates

FILE PHOTO: Former Transnet CEO Brian Molefe.
FILE PHOTO: Former Transnet CEO Brian Molefe.

The Democratic Alliance says it is to add the so-called Transnet “Trainsgate” scandal report to criminal charges it will be laying against former Transnet CEO Brian Molefe and Gupta associates.

DA shadow minister of public enterprises Natasha Mazzone said the latest forensic report by law firm Mncedisi Ndlovu & Sedumedi (MNS) attorneys on the R15.4-billion price inflation on Transnet locomotives procurement would form part of the affidavit of the criminal charges that the DA would be laying against Molefe‚ former chief financial officer Anoj Singh‚ board sub-committee chairperson Iqbal Sharma and Gupta lieutenant Salim Essa.

The MNS report recommends that corruption charges be brought against the four individuals and steps taken by Transnet to recover the money lost from Molefe.

This latest report follows a Werkmans Attorneys’ report which found that Molefe‚ Gupta associates and current Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama may have breached the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) for “serious breaches of statutes‚ regulations‚ corporate governance and unlawful conduct in relation to the transaction – involving billions of rand”.

Mazzone said that the two reports from different law firms provided enough evidence for a criminal investigation to be instituted without delay.

“Transnet is a vital cog in South Africa’s economic infrastructure and the financial pilferage it endured at the hands of corrupt ANC deployees like Molefe may have cost thousands of jobs that could have been created had the money been put to good use.

“It is therefore essential that‚ while criminal charges are pursued‚ the current Transnet Board must act on the MNS recommendation to recover money lost by Molefe through his deliberate acts of economic espionage.

“Failure to do so will render the entire Board complicit in violating good corporate governance practices which enjoins them to act against any perceived threats to Transnet’s financial health‚” Mazzone said.

“President Ramaphosa must understand the collapse in governance has not only taken place in ANC-run provinces but had also become pervasive in State Owned Enterprises (SOEs). Taking stern action against Gupta lieutenants is an essential first step in fixing the culture of corruption in SOEs‚” she added.

The Sunday Times reported that Molefe might have to pay back some of the almost R19-billion he was accused of squandering on a tainted locomotive deal while he was still CEO.

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