Gupta kickbacks: Zondo recommends investigations into Gigaba, Molefe, Gama and Singh

The Zondo commission has made recommendations that may see Malusi Gigaba and others face corruption and racketeering charges for their alleged role in the capture of Transnet.

The second of the commission’s reports — which was handed to the presidency earlier on Tuesday — has recommended that law-enforcement agencies investigate the former public enterprises minister, as well as former Transnet chief executive Brian Molefe, former Transnet Freight Rail chief executive Siyabonga Gama and the state logistics company’s former chief financial officers Anoj Singh and Garry Pita. 

Thamsanqa Jiyane, the former chief procurement officer at Transnet Freight Rail, may also face prosecution.

Gigaba, Molefe, Gama, Singh, Pita and Jiyane all allegedly received cash payments during visits to the compound of the wealthy Gupta family — also implicated in the graft —  in Saxonwold between 2010 and 2018.

Former Transnet and Eskom chief financial officer (CFO) Anoj Singh. (Photo by Papi Morake/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

“The evidence established convincingly that state capture occurred at Transnet in the period between 2009 and 2018,” the report reads.

“This was accomplished primarily through the Gupta racketeering enterprise and those associated with it, who engaged in a pattern of racketeering activity.”

According to the report, Transnet’s capture began after the resignation of Maria Ramos as its group chief executive in 2009. Thereafter, it notes, then president Jacob Zuma thwarted the appointment of a new chief executive by then public enterprises minister Barbara Hogan. This was because Zuma allegedly favoured Gama, who at the time was facing serious charges of misconduct in his capacity as chief executive of Transnet Freight Rail.

Former Eskom Chief Executive Officer, Brian Molefe. (Photo by Papi Morake/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

In 2010 Zuma appointed Gigaba — “an admitted associate of the Gupta enterprise” — as Hogan’s replacement. 

Gigaba immediately went to work reconstituting the Transnet board and initiated the process that led to Molefe’s appointment as chief executive. Molefe was not the highest scoring candidate for the position.

“Molefe was also an associate of the Guptas and a regular visitor to the Gupta Saxonwold compound,” the report notes, adding that Molefe’s appointment was accurately predicted by Gupta-owned newspaper The New Age

Former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama. (Papi Morake/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

One week after Molefe was appointed, Gama was reinstated at Transnet Freight Rail despite being dismissed for serious irregularities the previous year. After his reinstatement, the Zondo report states, Gama was “centrally involved in key transactions that favoured the Gupta enterprise”.

From July 2011, Molefe had regular contact with Ajay Gupta. His driver told the commission that between July 2011 and August 2014 he transported Molefe to the Gupta compound “and reasonably suspected that Molefe received substantial cash payments during those visits”.

The drivers of Gama, Gigaba, Singh and Pita also testified that they believed the four men received cash payments from the Guptas.

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Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit
Sarah Smit is a general news reporter at the Mail & Guardian. She covers topics relating to labour, corruption and the law.

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