Gupta e-mails lift lid on R1m payment to Transnet board member
The Guptas allegedly paid R1-million to a Transnet board member who presided over big contracts awarded to their companies.
Leaked e-mails show that Stanley Shane received the payment in September 2015. Shane, 45, was chairman of a Transnet acquisitions committee that was authorised to award tenders above R2.5-billion.
He resigned last week for health reasons. Days after the EFF claimed during a media conference that the party had evidence that Transnet awarded contracts worth about R17-billion to companies linked to the Gupta family, Shane suffered a heart attack and was rushed to a Johannesburg hospital.After Shane was transferred from intensive care to a normal ward last week, he wrote to Minister of Public Enterprises Lynne Brown informing her that he would like to step down from his position.
At the EFF media conference party leader Julius Malema implicated Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba and former Eskom CEO Brian Molefe as key players who helped the Guptas score the multibillion-rand contracts.
Malema claims tenders for about 1000 locomotives were inflated at the Guptas' request. He said a tender contract initially priced the locomotives at R27-million each under General Electric; this went down to R24-million per locomotive in another bid; but the price then rose to R33-million on the advice of the Guptas.
Malema said the bid had now soared to R42-million per locomotive and that the Guptas stood to pocket R10-million of that. The overall price had bloated to more than R17.4-billion.Shane, a director of Integrated Capital Management, was accused of being a Gupta stooge by a whistleblower in an affidavit to former public protector Thuli Madonsela. He is also a business associate of Salim Essa, a Gupta ally and foot soldier.
Shane was mired in controversy last year when evidence emerged that ICM assisted Gupta-linked finance company Trillian on Transnet work - a clear conflict of interest.
In one instance, Shane was asked by an ICM partner to review a proposal before it was submitted to Transnet. At the time he denied there was a conflict of interest, saying Trillian did not benefit from his position on the Transnet board.
Brown's spokesman, Colin Cruywagen, confirmed Shane's resignation "due to ill health". Shane, speaking through his PA, Andy Wolff, said he was unable to "accept any further discussion [on Transnet] due to him being incapacitated".
The shady relationship between the state company and Trillian was further exposed last week when Trillian independent chairman Tokyo Sexwale released results of an investigation by Advocate Geoff Budlender.The report confirmed a Sunday Times article that the company had prior knowledge of the removal of Nhlanhla Nene as finance minister.
Budlender found the company was paid R250-million by Transnet for work not done.
According to a source at Transnet, Brown has been handed information that shows Essa and Rajesh "Tony" Gupta tried to hide their ownership of several companies.
"Through the leaked e-mails a clear trail is created that Zestilor, Sechaba Software Solutions and Global Softech Solutions as well as CAD House, who have different shareholders, report to Essa and Tony Gupta through Sahara Systems CEO Santosh Choubey," the source said.
The source said all the companies were currently contracted with Transnet through their supplier-development programme with T-Systems. Shane was involved in awarding these contracts as chairman of the acquisitions committee.