Zondo: Transnet was centre of “Gupta racketeering enterprise”

Toby Shapshak

Transnet was ground zero for State Capture, according to acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, accounting for 72.2% of all dirty contracts.

Zondo wrote in the second part of his report released on Tuesday that from 2009 to 2018, evidence establishes convincingly that State Capture occurred at Transnet.

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

As much as R41.2 billion in Transnet contracts were linked to the Guptas and their lieutenant Salim Essa, the report found.

The “primary architects” of this State Capture were former Transnet CEOs Brian Molefe and Siyabonga Gama and former chief financial officer Anoj Singh.

One of the worst instances was the massive inflation of the price of 1,064 Chinese-made locomotives from R38-billion to R54-billion.

Zondo said there is evidence that Molefe, Singh and Gama received” cash gratifications from the Gupta enterprise,” as well as “payment of kickbacks” to Essa’s companies. Given this, Zondo said, there are reasonable grounds to believe that Molefe, Singh, Gama and Essa, as well as others, received “corrupt gratifications”.

Zondo recommends all should be investigated and charged by law enforcement.

Former President Jacob Zuma’s version of why corruption-tainted Gama was preferred over Sipho Maseko for Transnet CEO must be “rejected as a complete fabrication”.

“If he had no objection to appointing Mr Maseko, who was recommended by both the board and his own minister of public enterprises, why then was Mr Maseko not appointed?” he asked.

“On Ms Hogan’s version, the reason why Mr Maseko was not appointed is that Mr Zuma would not allow the matter to be taken to Cabinet because he said that his only choice was Mr Gama.”

But, as Zondo pointed out: “Mr Zuma fled the Commission before he could be asked to explain this. Therefore, in his version there is no explanation for why Mr Maseko was not appointed.”


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