Transnet Chairperson Dr Popo Molefe has described the State Capture project as a sophisticated operation carried out by qualified individuals. Dr Molefe was giving evidence at the Zondo Commission into allegations of State Capture on Tuesday.

The Transnet Board Chairperson also told the Commission that former CEO Brian Molefe and former CFO failed in their fiduciary duties when it approved the acquisition of locomotives from China South Rail.

The Transnet board chair has named Brian Molefe, Anoj Signh and Siyabonga Gama as enforcers of the state capture project. Dr Molefe says the trio had a common agenda which involved weakening the freight company’s system to benefit external companies.

Dr Molefe detailed how certain individuals identified large tenders and extended their scope to justify inflated prices. He says the state capture project could go on unnoticed because individuals could sign off large contracts without the board’s approval.

Dr Molefe has told the Commission that a confinement that was originally meant for Mitsui, became a confinement for China South Rail. He explained that the acquisition of 1064 locomotives from China South Rail did not meet the requirements for a confinement.

He also told the Commission that Brian Molefe, Singh and Gama approved a cost increase from R3.8 billion to R4.4 billion.

Dr Molefe described Transnet as the heart and lungs of the South African economy, saying a dysfunctional Transnet equals a dysfunctional economy.