South Africa’s state owned railway company, Transnet said it has suspended senior officials who entered into irregular procurement contracts with service providers ‚and reported the matter to the Hawks.
The company confirmed in a statement by its spokesperson Viwe Tlaleane, that “A probe is under way‚”.
The management are said to have discovered the nonadherence to its internal procurement processes and shared it with its external auditors‚ SizweNtsalubaGobodo. The audit firm had then submitted a report to the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors‚ due to the reportable irregularities it had discovered in Transnet’s financial statements.
As part of the Gupta e-mail leaks‚ the amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism earlier reported that Gupta associates had scored R5.3bn in kickbacks associated with the purchase of locomotives by Transnet, – Timeslive reports.
Transnet would not comment on who the officials or service providers were‚ but said it was no longer using the affected suppliers. All payments had been put on hold until the finalisation of a legal investigation‚ where money would be recovered‚ including interest and legal costs‚ it said.
“The affected senior officials have been suspended‚ legal action has been taken where appropriate and disciplinary actions are under way‚” Transnet said.
The rail company is the largest and most crucial part of the freight logistics chain that delivers goods to each and every South African. Every day Transnet delivers thousands of tons of goods around South Africa, through its pipelines and both to and from its ports. It moves that cargo on to ships for export while it unloads goods for overseas.