Tribunal dismisses appeal by former Transnet executive against R18m forfeiture order

Ernest Mabuza Journalist
The Special Tribunal has dismissed an application for leave to appeal by former Transnet Capital Projects executive Herbert Msagala against an order that declared his assets worth R18.4m were forfeit to the state. File photo.
The Special Tribunal has dismissed an application for leave to appeal by former Transnet Capital Projects executive Herbert Msagala against an order that declared his assets worth R18.4m were forfeit to the state. File photo.
Image: Archives

The Special Tribunal has dismissed an application for leave to appeal by former Transnet Capital Projects executive Herbert Msagala against an order made in November 2020 declaring that his properties worth R18.4m were forfeit to the state.

Msagala allegedly improperly benefited to the tune of R18.4m in tender irregularities while he was an executive at Transnet Capital Projects in 2015 and 2016.

The matter came before the Special Tribunal in July 2020 after the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) investigated a project undertaken by Transnet, known as the New-Multi Product Pipeline, for the high pressure transportation of liquid petroleum products from Durban to Heidelberg in Gauteng.

The project was managed by Msagala.

It was during his incumbency in 2015 that IGS Consulting Engineering Services CC, whose sole member was Sipho Sithole, was awarded contracts in the project, and additional contracts later on.

On July 20 2020 the SIU lodged an application before the Special Tribunal seeking an order to freeze his assets and interdict Transnet from paying out Msagala’s pension benefits as he was no longer in the employ of the company.

The tribunal granted that order.

In November 2020, the Special Tribunal declared that Msagala's assets worth R18.4m were forfeit to the state. Msagala later applied for leave to appeal.

Judge Billy Mothle dismissed the application on Tuesday.

Mothle found that Msagala had not provided the Special Tribunal with compelling reasons why a different court would come to another finding.

In the leave to appeal judgment, Mothle found that Msagala's legal team rehashed the old argument that Msagala’s financial fortunes increased as a result of his several business activities, which could not be augmented by evidence.

Earlier this month, Transnet argued before the Special Tribunal that it had made a strong case for the recovery of just more than R20m improperly obtained by Msagala and IGS.

The civil recovery proceedings against Msagala and IGS were instituted after the assets which were the part of the forfeiture did not realise the R18.4m Msagala allegedly illegally received.

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