Malema wants foreign states to take on companies in alleged crooked Transnet tender

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema said almost everyone in the ANC had been captured. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema said almost everyone in the ANC had been captured. (Delwyn Verasamy, M&G)

Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema will ask foreign governments to take action against companies involved in an allegedly dubious tender issued by Transnet.

Malema spoke at a press briefing on Thursday where he released a 28-page document that seeks to expose an allegedly crooked Transet tender for locomotives. 

He said a whistle-blower had also leaked emails to the EFF, which provide evidence of irregularities associated with the tender.

Chinese, Canadian and American companies made bids for the tender, which allegedly became irregular once Trillian and Regiments Capital – well-known Gupta affiliates – became advisers to Transnet on the tender.

The tender was issued in 2012, Malema said. In 2014, Trillian and Regiments Capital advised Transnet to ask bidders to increase their bids after they had allegedly been asked to make lower bids. 

The Mail & Guardian has not yet studied the documents released by the EFF to confirm the veracity of these claims.

The companies that bid include:

  • China North Rail
  • China South Rain
  • Bombadier (from Canada)
  • General Electric (from the United States)

According to Malema, these companies were involved in a corrupt bidding process which was influenced by the advice of the Gupta family in the form of Trillian and Regiments Capital.

Once Trillian and Regiments entered the fray, the price of each locomotive rose from R30-million to just over R40-million.

The EFF is now writing to the Canadian, American and Chinese governments to ask that they prosecute companies involved in the tender bid.

They will also write to the World Bank to ask how it allowed these allegedly corrupt companies to continue operations without punishment.

The EFF leader said the party has “no faith” in the National Prosecuting Authority and the South African Police Service to press charges and prosecute those involved in state capture. 

He also criticised ANC voters because they have failed to take action against President Jacob Zuma and other ministers who have been implicated in state capture.

“You enjoy ANC crime,” Malema said.

The people Malema says are at the centre of the alleged irregular Transnet tender include:

  • Malusi Gigaba (public enterprises minister at the time)
  • Brian Molefe (Transnet chief executive)
  • Anoj Singh (Transnet chief financial officer)
  • Iqbal Sharma (Transnet Acquisitions and disposal board committee chairperson)
  • Garry Pita (Transnet group chief supply chain officer)
  • Jacob Zuma (president of South Africa)

Malema said Gigaba appointed Sharma, who was a “gatekeeper for the Guptas at Transnet. He added that Sharma, Singh and Pita were at the heart of the alleged scheme to inflate the locomotive price.

Over the past two weeks, a trove of emails has revealed the extent of the Guptas’ influence in Cabinet and in state-owned entities.
Malema said Zuma and those implicated in the emails now had to face action and intervention by foreign governments was necessary.

The EFF leader also said Zuma had deployed “delay tactics” by asking the courts to review the public protector’s State of Capture report.

Calls for a judicial commission of inquiry have grown louder from opposition parties and the  public since reports on the emails emerged.

The public protector’s State of Capture report recommended that inquiry be led by a judge handpicked by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng instead of the president.

The presidency has said it welcomes a judicial inquiry into state capture despite the fact that it had asked the high court in Pretoria to review the report. 

Malema said he will write to Zuma to ask withdraw his review to allow the inquiry to begin urgently.

The EFF leader says the party will now ask Parliament to begin impeachment processes against ministers and Zuma implicated in the leaked emails. Should Parliament fail to co-operate, the EFF will take the matter to court.

The EFF has decided to also take Regiments Capital, Trillian, Gigaba and Gupta associate Salim Essa to the Financial Services Board and to court for their involvement in the Transnet tender.

Malema called on South Africans to urgently take action and said the authenticity of the emails couldn’t be denied because their contents have been “known” to the EFF.

“This list you see of corrupt people is nothing. They’ve captured almost everyone in the ANC,” Malema said. 

The EFF will file the whistleblower’s emails in court, making them a public record. 

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra'eesa Pather

Ra’eesa Pather is a general news journalist with the Mail & Guardian’s online team. She cut her teeth at The Daily Vox in Cape Town before moving to Johannesburg and joining the M&G. She's written about memory, race and gender in columns and features, and has dabbled in photography. Read more from Ra'eesa Pather

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