Court papers show Transnet execs 'colluded fraudulently'

Siyabonga Gama was dismissed as chief executive of Transnet in October. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

Siyabonga Gama was dismissed as chief executive of Transnet in October. (Delwyn Verasamy/M&G)

Court papers filed by Transnet to recover R189-million in inflated payments from Gupta-linked Regiments Capital have revealed collusion by senior executives of the state-owned firm, in allowing the transaction.

Former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama, former chief financial officer Anoj SinghRobert Ramosebudi who resigned in October as group treasurer and Garry Pita who vacated his chief financial officer position in April, are said to have “colluded fraudulently to cause Transnet to transfer to Regiments an over-payment of R151-million”.

The papers filed in the Johannesburg high court on Thursday, list among other allegations the following eight transgressions by the executives:

  • Singh, Gama, Pita and Ramosebudi recommended that the board acquisitions and disposal committee approve the appointment of Regiments on a risk sharing agreement, despite the company not being on risk, to provide transaction advisory services related to the locomotives tender.
  • Singh and Pita recommended in a memorandum dated May 19 2015 that Gama approve the payment of R166-million (excluding VAT).
  • They knew or should have known that Regiments was owed R15-million not R166-million.
  • Regiments on June 3, 2015, submitted an invoice for payment of R166-million (excluding VAT), which was signed by Singh on June 11 2015.
  • Gama — who was then chief executive of Transnet Freight Rail — signed off the R166 approval of Regiments payment on July 16 2015.
  • He presented to employees responsible for paying creditors that Transnet owed Regiments R166-million for supplying advisory services.
  • Despite a demand dated October 23, 2018, the defendants are said to failed to and/or refused to pay Transnet the sum of R189-million.
  • Singh, Gama, Ramosebudi and Pita breached their fiduciary duties by recommending and/or procuring or permitting the overpayment and they should have foreseen that their conduct would result in Transnet sustaining losses.

The court bid is the first major action by the board to act against those who have been found to have enabled the draining of resources at the entity. — Fin24

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