Senior Transnet officials suspended over questionable procurement deals
Two senior Transnet officials‚ who were implicated in the dubious procurement of 1‚064 diesel and electric locomotives‚ have officially been suspended.
Chief officer of advanced manufacturing of Transnet engineering‚ Thamsanqa Jiyane‚ and Lindiwe Mdletshe‚ the senior manager for strategic sourcing for Transnet Freight Rail‚ were served with official suspension letters on Thursday.
This followed a Transnet board meeting on Wednesday. The board confirmed that the two had been suspended after considering their representations as to why they should not be suspended at the Wednesday meeting.
"The board concluded that representations by the employees were implausible and that their continued presence at Transnet is likely to hinder and prejudice further forensic investigations that the board has instituted‚" chair Popo Molefe said‚ adding that further charges against the two include the withholding of company information crucial and relevant to the locomotives tender from the forensic investigation; not co-operating with investigators; and refusing to hand over company property in the form of laptops‚ mobile phones and other devices.
Business Day understands the Transnet board met with public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan on Thursday.
The suspension of embattled CEO Siyabonga Gama is expected to follow in the near future. Molefe said the board would "execute other resolutions" confirmed by Wednesday's meeting in due course.
Transnet‚ which has been mired in allegations of state capture‚ is the biggest freight company in South Africa and has a monopoly or near-monopoly over ports‚ freight rail and fuel pipelines.