A forensic report into South Africa’s state-owned electricity utility and ports and rail operator found some executives and board members failed to act in the companies’ best interests and recommended criminal investigations against them.
The findings are contained in a report by Fundudzi Forensic Services, which the national treasury contracted to investigate the following:
- The acquisition of locomotives at Transnet;
- The appointment of US consultancy McKinsey & Co and others to advise Transnet and Eskom; and
- Coal procurement from Tegeta Exploration and Resources, a company controlled by the Gupta family.
The probe examined the extent of so-called state capture, where private individuals used influence over government officials to win contracts from state companies. At the centre of these allegations are the Guptas, who are friends with former President Jacob Zuma, and who all deny wrongdoing. National treasury published some chapters of the report on its website on Friday.
Transnet, the state logistics company, paid R509-million more for 100 locomotives after switching a supply contract to a Chinese rail company from Mitsui & Co of Japan, Fundudzi said.
Fundudzi recommended that its report be sent to the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigations and that criminal probes be instituted against officials and board members including Brian Molefe and Siyabonga Gama, who are both former CEOs of Transnet.
It recommended the same for former executives at Eskom including ex-chief financial officer Anoj Singh and previous generation head Matshela Koko for contravening the Public Finance Management Act in their handling of purchasing coal from the Guptas’ Tegeta.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has pledged to stamp out corruption since taking over from Zuma in February. That has included replacing directors at a number of state companies including Eskom, which ratings companies have identified as a key risk to the economy. — Reported by Ana Monteiro, (c) 2018 Bloomberg LP