Executive Finance Manager at Transnet Freight Rail Yousuf Laher has denied that he was responsible for approving a 30 to 60% advance payment for the 100 locomotive tender, even before a single locomotive had been delivered.

Laher blames former Transnet Chief Officer, Anoj Singh, who he says was responsible for payment decisions at Transnet.

Earlier testimonies revealed that the advance payments prejudiced Transnet.

It was also revealed that Transnet unjustifiably paid an excess R1 billion for the 2012 locomotives tender. Laher testified before the State Capture Inquiry in Johannesburg on Wednesday.

“Mr. Singh said they were affordable and that Transnet had the funding to afford those advance payments firstly and secondly the advance payments were agreed to as part of the package deal by the steering committee so when Mr. Singh told us that the steering committee accepted the price of R44 million, he also said they accepted with the advance payment that goes with it.”

Executive Finance Manager at Transnet Freight Rail Yousuf Laher’s testimony: 

The tender was awarded to China South Rail. In his testimony, former Electrical Engineer Francis Callard implicating him in wrongdoing related to the unjustified increase in the cost of the locomotives.

Laher told the commission that he could not question Singh’s instructions at the time as this would have been tantamount to insubordination.

“Post the negotiation sessions Mr. Singh explained to me the principle elements that needed to be included in a memorandum that needs to go to the board to request an increase in the ETC from the initial pricing. I think it was R3.4 billion, I could be wrong,  to the amount R4.4 billion detailing the reasons for the increase in price.  He also explained to me the detailing of the format he wanted the numbers presented in for this particular memo to the board and he requested that I type it up into a draft memo that was already prepared.”

Proceedings adjourned at the commission: