Transnet absolves officials in locomotives scandal

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South African state entity, Transnet, said on Thursday that it would not be taking any disciplinary action at this stage or suspend any officials implicated in the 1064 locomotive scandal due to the inconclusive nature of the forensic report.

Transnet last year appointed Werksmans Attorneys to investigate allegations of corruption in the procurement of 1064 diesel and electric locomotives from four Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMS).

Transnet also reported these allegations to the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation concurrent to this investigation.

In March 2014, Transnet entered into contracts with four OEMS, including General Electric, Bombardier Transport, China South Rail and China North Rail, for the supply of 1064 diesel and electric locomotives.

But soon a number of allegations surfaced relating to the total estimated costs of the acquisition of these locomotives, most of them relating to the alleged involvement of the Gupta family and their associated companies in the transaction.

On Thursday, Transnet said that its board was presented with the investigation report by Werksmans and had considered it.

“The Board resolved that the Werksmans’ report was incomplete and inconclusive based on the Terms of Reference provided to them. This conclusion is corroborated by Werksmans who have specifically alluded this in their report due to limitations expressed therein,” Transnet said.

“The Board has further resolved that there are no concrete grounds provided in the report to effect any disciplinary processes or suspensions of any officials at this stage due to the inconclusive nature of the report.”

Transnet said that the steps it had taken demonstrated its commitment to rooting out corruption in the company, ensuring that it continues to remain a solid state-owned enterprise both in financial and commercial terms.

Meanwhile, Transnet said the board has approved the recommendation by Werksmans that certain matters in the report be referred to the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture, headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, adding that it will fully co-operate with the judicial commission of inquiry.