Transnet To Probe Corruption Allegations

PICTURE: Business Day

By Mbali Sibiya

Transnet says it will investigate allegations that implicated the rail and logistics firm in corruption.

Allegations of graft in state firms escalated last month, after the first of the #GuptaLeaks emails and documents were released, showing alleged influence-peddling in the issuing of lucrative tenders.

“The board has seen it fit that those allegations must be probed,” Transnet’s Chief Executive Siyabonga Gama said during the firm’s results presentation.

“We have hired an external legal company to deal with that so we can get to the bottom of those matters,” Gama said, adding that Transnet did not tolerate any corruption.

He said the probe, which would include both current and past staff at Transnet, could take about three months.

Some of the emails were released by investigative journalism unit AmaBhungane.

Transnet operated nearly three-quarters of the entire African rail network, the bulk of which was in South Africa, but it had been looking to expand abroad.

The Public Protector also launched an investigation into allegations of influence-peddling within state firms Eskom, Transnet and the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) following the leaks.

Last month, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema laid criminal charges against former Transnet board members accused of corruption during the tender for new locomotives.

On Monday, the South Gauteng High Court set aside a controversial Prasa tender involving trains that were too tall for the country’s rail network.

The EFF alleged R17-billion was stolen from the state-owned company.

Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba, President Jacob Zuma and the Gupta family were some of the individuals implicated in the #GuptaLeaks scandal.