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Transnet aims for Brian Molefe and other former executives

Transnet board chairperson Popo Molefe says the parastatal is pursuing a team of 'professional thieves' linked with state capture who looted the company.
Transnet board chairperson Popo Molefe says the parastatal is pursuing a team of 'professional thieves' linked with state capture who looted the company.
Image: Puxley Makgatho

The Transnet board is taking legal action against former CEO Brian Molefe and CFO Anoj Singh in an effort to recover billions of rands lost in an alleged looting spree during their tenure.

Transnet board chairperson Popo Molefe revealed this yesterday when he presented a progress report about their interventions in turning around the troubled state-owned entity.

Molefe said other senior managers who have been summoned included Molefe's successor Siyabonga Gama, a former treasurer, and several recently departed executives.

Molefe said the new board has been hard at work trying to stabilise the parastatal since their arrival in May. He described the situation they found as "nothing short of a horror movie".

Former CFO Anoj Singh.
Former CFO Anoj Singh.
Former Transnet CEO Brian Molefe.
Former Transnet CEO Brian Molefe.

"People went to the office primarily to loot. But I must say there were more who did not know what was going on in the organisation," he said.

Molefe said others got appointed to positions "primarily to loot the organisation".

"All the good people who would not collaborate were moved from their positions. Assembled in this organisation was a team of professional thieves linked directly with state capture," he said.

The board has already suspended many of the executives who were involved in alleged corruption estimated at R1.3bn. Molefe said a number of contracts were also being reviewed as they were found to have been overstated.

Among these contracts was the controversial R54bn tender with Chinese locomotive manufacturers for 1,064 locomotives. Transnet has already recovered about R618m of the R700m that was paid as an advanced payment. Acting CFO Mohammed Mahomedy is now trying to get back the VAT paid on the transaction.

Molefe said it was difficult to get information from people at Transnet and in many instances they were forced to source it directly from the computer server as staff members were not co-operating.

"We want to operate purely on a professional basis. We don't want to treat everybody as a suspect... they will reveal themselves as suspect once they begin to drag their feet and don't want to do their job."

The board has decided to temporarily retain its acting CEO, Tau Morwe, in order to stabilise the organisation before appointing a new person.

Molefe said disciplinary hearings against those who have been suspended were expected to start next week.

Brian Molefe confirmed receiving the summons but described it as a publicity stunt.

"Summons are an allegation. They must still be tested. Mr Molefe must wait for the proper forum in which these issues must be tested. We have a right to be heard," he said.

Gama and Singh had not responded to Sowetan's request for comment by the time of going to print.

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