From Dubai to Russia ― how former Eskom and Transnet CFO Anoj Singh was bought

A new forensic treasury report shows how controversial former Transnet and Eskom chief financial officer Anoj Singh enjoyed overseas trips at the expense of international consulting firm McKinsey, which scored multi-billion rand contracts at the state owned entities.

Singh, who publicly lied to Parliament last year about McKinsey and Gupta-linked company Trillian not being paid by Eskom, enjoyed fully paid trips to Dubai, Russia, London and Germany.

READ MORE: Embattled Eskom CFO Anoj Singh resigns ‘with immediate effect’

The details are contained in a draft national treasury forensic report conducted by Fundudzi Forensic Services which investigates various allegations at both Eskom and Transnet.

The report seen by the Mail & Guardian, follows last year’s national treasury report which called for a forensic investigation into Singh, former Eskom chief executive officer Brian Molefe and other executives’ involvement in dubious contracts which were awarded to Gupta-linked companies.

READ MORE: Molefe and Singh’s 92% pay raise

The Fundudzi report reiterates treasury’s recommendations that Singh’s conduct with regards to McKinsey should be referred to the elite crime-fighting unit, the Hawks, for investigations under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act (Precca).

Under Precca, Singh would be investigated for allegations of corruption as the overseas trips alone constitute a form of gratification, which is illegal.

According to the report Singh, who has played a key role in the awarding of dubious multi-million rand contracts to McKinsey and Trillian, appears not to have declared the all expenses paid overseas trips.

READ MORE: Editorial: Eskom’s liars obfuscate the truth

The report states that the trips, which were arranged by McKinsey, followed two months after the consulting firm was appointed through a confinement to assist “Transnet in developing a credible execution plan that minimises the execution risk of market demand strategy”. A confinement is a closed tender process. This was after the value of the contract awarded to McKinsey was increased from R25-million to R49-million.

“The invitation extended to Singh was for him to attend the CFO conference in London.…It should be noted that the requested increase was done two months after the commencement of the project. The project commenced in December 2011 and the increase is requested in February 2012,” says the report.

It was further discovered that after Singh returned from the June 2012 trips McKinsey was once more appointed through a confinement as an advisor in a controversial but lucrative R54-billion locomotive contract, which was later revealed to have been tailored for the Gupta family.

“We determined that a month after Singh came back from the McKinsey sponsored London trip, that there was a further procurement process to appoint McKinsey to provide advisory services to Transnet for the procurement of the 1064 locomotives,” says the report.

When contacted for comment Singh declined and said that he was never consulted during the investigation. “I have not seen the report so I have no comment,” said Singh.

Following this work McKinsey secured more work at Transnet during Singh’s time including in a partnership with Regiments Capital, a company which had Gupta associate Eric Wood as founding partner.

This relationship saw the McKinsey/Regiments partnership extract fees in excess of R3-billion — including five contracts worth R1-billion done without following tender processes — from Transnet.

The report also reveals Singh and disgraced former McKinsey executive Vikas Sagar in e-mail discussions for the international consultancy to earn hundreds of millions from Transnet’s locomotive procurement plans. This discussion follows similar discussions held for Eskom work to be funnelled to McKinsey and Gupta-linked Trillian Capital with Wood.

When Singh moved to Eskom, McKinsey was again awarded a lucrative R1-billion contract together with Trillian which was paid R600-million. The contracts were found to have been illegally awarded to the two companies and McKinsey, after law enforcement agencies got involved, has since paid back the money.

The report further states that Singh, as part of the investigation was sent detailed questions and asked to explain apparent instances where he had misled parliament.

Singh is also facing a professional enquiry into his conduct by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.

Thanduxolo Jika
Thanduxolo Jika

Thanduxolo Jika is an investigative Journalist and Co-Author of We are going to kill each other today:The Marikana Story. The Messiah of Abantu.

Sabelo Skiti

Sabelo Skiti is an investigative journalist.

Advertisting

Ndabeni-Abrahams lockdown debacle: What we know

The minister has to answer to the president after a picture was posted of her apparently breaking lockdown rules

Covid-19 grounds Nigeria’s medical tourists

The country’s elites, including the president, travelled abroad for treatment but now they must use the country’s neglected health system

Nehawu launches urgent court bid over protective gear for health...

The health workers’ union says the government has rebuffed its attempts to meet about mitigating risks to workers

Stay at home, Cyril said. But what about the homeless?

In Tshwane, forcing homeless people off the street resulted in chaos and the abuse of a vulnerable population. In Durban, a smooth, well-planned operation fared far better

Press Releases

Everyone’s talking about it. Even Kentucky

Earlier this year South African fried chicken fast-food chain, Chicken Licken®, launched a campaign for their wallet-friendly EasyBucks® meals, based on the idea of ‘Everyone’s talking about it.’

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world