State capture hears of suspicious alterations to locomotive proposal at Transnet

Francis Callard
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The State Capture inquiry has heard of suspicious alterations to a proposal that helped acquire 100 locomotives, which were not suited to South Africa’s rail infrastructure, to favour China South Rail. This was testimony by Transnet’s former Electrical Engineer, Francis Callard, to the Inquiry on Friday.

Callard implicated former Transnet executive, Siyabonga Gama in the process in which the alterations were made to the proposal.

Callard says the business case he created for 100 locomotives was unilaterally changed by executives to suit China South Rail.

This comes after he had written a memo communicating that the acquisition should be confined to another company Mitsui. He says the confinement would have ensured fast delivery.

He added that because it was a known type, train drivers wouldn’t have needed training.

The commission has also heard that a committee approved the acquisition of 100 non-specific locomotives.

This is despite the original proposal requested the acquisition of 19E type locomotives, which would have suited South Africa’s rail infrastructure.

Callard says he raised concerns about the alterations in an email to Siyabonga Gama.

The commission continues.



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