Four people, including two former Transnet senior officials, have appeared in the Palm Ridge Specialised Commercial Crimes Court for their alleged role in the multimillion rand Transnet locomotives tender scandal.
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The accused are former Transnet Group Chief Executive Brian Molefe, former Transnet Group Chief Financial Officer Anoj Singh and Regiments Capital Directors Niven Pillay and Litha Nyhonhya.
Molefe and Singh are facing charges of contravention of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA) and fraud, while Pillay and Nyhonhya are facing charges of fraud, corruption and money laundering.
Head of the National Prosecuting Authority Investigating Directorate (NPA ID), Advocate Andrea Johnson, said the arrests are significant in the fightback against corruption.
“Transnet is considered one of the primary sites of massive looting of State funds at the peak of the State capture project. Today’s arrest and court appearance of additional senior executives reflects a significant milestone and outcome of our complex investigations.
“We, in collaboration with the Hawks, will ensure that we continue to follow the evidence, and arrest and prosecute those who are fingered to have been alleged to be part of looting the State coffers. As the ID, we have made commitments to reclaim the State and ensure that impunity is no longer a given,” Johnson said.
NPA ID spokesperson, Sindisiwe Seboka, said the accused join several other accused in the dock.
The accused are former Transnet Group Chief Executive Siyabonga Gama, former Group Chief Financial Officer Garry Pita, former Group Treasurer Phetolo Ramosebudi, Regiments shareholder Eric Wood, Trillian Asset Management current Director Daniel Roy and Kuben Moodley.
“The group are arraigned on charges stemming from the locomotives transaction advisory tender which was awarded to the McKinsey-led consortium in 2012, resulting in the procurement of 1 064 locomotives worth over R54 billion. Regiments Capital was irregularly on boarded and ended up benefitting from the irregular appointment by Transnet in respect of the contract.
“The contract value and scope for the services required was later escalated to more than R305 million. This agreement included, amongst other services, the sourcing of the China Development Bank loan and the Club loan, which were in the amount of $2.5 billion, on behalf of Transnet (equivalent to R30 billion at the time). The accused also face charges linked to the R93.4 million paid to Trillian Asset Management in 2015,” Seboka said.
Molefe, Singh, Pillay and Nyhonhya were granted bail following their appearance and are expected back in court in October.
“This arrest and court appearance signifies a critical move in closing the circle and holding to account all those who are alleged to have been at the core of State capture in Transnet, and is one of the seminal cases that the NPA has committed to enrolling by the end of September,” Seboka said.
Warrants of arrest have also been issued for Salim Essa and Ashok Narayan, who is currently out of the country. ■
Warm, dry and windy conditions, caused by the emergence of a strong cold front from the Rockies will contribute to a critical fire weather threat for parts of southeastern Colorado and southwestern Kansas this afternoon.