Second Zondo report details rampant corruption at Transnet and Denel

Financial advisors likely to be among those investigated with a view to prosecution.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Image: GCIS

Part two of the report of the Zondo Commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture, released on Tuesday, focuses on two state-owned companies – Transnet and Denel.

It details the financial and operational decline of both companies, which became targets of state capture.

The report recommends that law enforcement agencies conduct further investigations with a view to the possible prosecution of former Transnet officials involved in criminal or other violations of the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

Officials to be investigated include former executives Brian Molefe, former CFO Anoj Singh, former chief procurement officer Thamsanqa Jiyane, and former CEO Siyabonga Gama.

The commission also recommends investigating Singh for misrepresenting the infamous 1 064 locomotive project for misrepresenting the financial costs.

Financial advisors are also likely to be investigated for corruption, with a view to prosecution.

Denel

On Denel, the report says it was once highly regarded internationally, yet is now “almost on its knees”.

The commission recommends investigations into Denel board directors who supported the suspension of key executives who stood in the way of corrupt contracts awarded to Gupta-linked VR Laser.

Read:

Next steps

The first part of the report, exploring state capture at South African Airways (SAA) and associated companies, was handed over to President Cyril Ramaphosa on January 4.

Ramaphosa has to submit the report to parliament by June 30 with an indication as to how he intends to act on the commission’s recommendations.

He said the handover of the second part of the report is “another significant step forward in the work we need to do to rid our country of corruption”.

“During the course of the past four years the Commission has constructed a disturbing picture of the depth and damage of state capture.

“We should now apply our energies to the Commission’s recommendations and take the necessary steps to make sure we never face this onslaught on public resources and on the fabric of our society.”

Access the Zondo report on Transnet here.

Access the Zondo report on Denel here.

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It is a convenient oversimplification to only blame the individuals whose names were mentioned in the report. The reality is that every ANC supporter is guilty of fraudulent activity. If the ANC and EFF supporters can blame every white person for apartheid, then according to the same logic every ANC and EFF supporter was found guilty of corruption by the Zondo Commission.

Let’s do a mental experiment and replace the names in the report with any random ANC supporter. Do you think the results would have been any different? I certainly don’t think so. The scandal over the procurement of personal protective equipment at the onset of the covid pandemic proves the point. The Zondo Commission is merely a probe that measures the level of criminality of the average voter.

Where does that leave us as a nation?

The Zondo report identifies individuals, that they suggest are investigated further with a view to criminal prosecution. In the case of TRANSNET this is namely GAMA, MOLEFE and SINGH.

They were deployed cadres! Read the report on the farcical 2 year firing and rehiring of GAMA. You are not put into those positions without a very clear mandate on what your purpose is. The report further states “Molefe and Gama were appointed to the position of CEO one after another and they caused serious damage to TRANSNET” – page 132.

Both of them removed long term skilled individuals from the parastatal and this accelerated in GAMAs tenure – why? Why is TRANSNET on its knees now, the rail system has literally collapsed, barely able to transport 50% of already reduced capacities. The ports are equally shocking.

The market is rife with allegations that TRANSNETs only hope is privatisation . A company that has been brought to its knees i guess will not sell at full value but pennies on the dollar…”they caused serious damage to Transnet” – ask why they were deployed again.

So Luthuli house deploys the cadres, then sets up the Zondo commission to investigate the work the cadres were sent to do. Are we to believe that the state does not remain captured – the Zondo commission served only to capture our attention for a few years, while the feeding at the ESKOM and TRANSNET troughs went on unabated. Please prove us wrong with your June recommendations.

there does not seem to be a finding to prosecute state owned China Rail for the largest single corruption event – the 6 billion back-hander they paid the Zuptas in Hong Kong.

End of comments.

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