Just when the corruption scandal appeared to be over, Transnet has suspended another eight senior executives
All eight were sent “letters of precautionary suspension resulting from past internal audit and forensic reports that were not implemented by management.”
One of them, Transnet property group executive Thabo Lebelo, opted to resign, but the others have not been named. Transnet acting CEO Tau Morwe said that they ranged from general managers to executive managers.
Transnet spokesperson Molatwane Likhethe said that the suspensions were the result of 345 detailed reports that had been compiled during the company’s various corruption investigations. Morwe also said that an external auditor had been appointed to conclude and finalise the recommendations made in the reports, but that there would be a fair disciplinary processes for all those implicated. The external auditors have been working with Transnet since the start of this year.
Only some of those implicated have thus far been dismissed and Transnet appears to have received complaints from employees that many of the accused remained in their posts. Given the statements made, it seems likely that there will be further dismissals. Likhethe added that the suspensions would be handled in an open and transparent manner in order to ensure good governance and restore integrity at Transnet.
Morwe said that corruption had diverted Transnet’s attention in recent years, with the result that the substantial investment made had not resulted in rising cargo volumes. He pledged that all ongoing projects, including in the container and dry bulk sectors, would be completed because the company is now dealing with its corruption problems.
The most high profile corruption scandal surrounds the purchase of 1064 new locomotives at inflated prices in a contract worth a total of R54B (US$3.8B), with some of the money channelled to intermediaries.
Transnet is in the process of taking legal action to recover some of the money. Those already dismissed include former group CEO Siyabonga Gama.