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Scopa to subpoena Transnet executives after no-show

This after they failed to pitch at a specially convened meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss questionable contracts worth millions of rand.

Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - In an unprecedented move, Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) will be subpoenaing Transnet executives and the board to appear before it in January.

This after they failed to pitch at a specially convened meeting on Wednesday morning to discuss questionable contracts worth millions of rand.

Chairperson Linda Mabaso sent the committee a letter on Tuesday night, saying she needed more time to prepare.

Transnet officials have been before the committee for two consecutive weeks to discuss deviations and expansions from contracts dating back to 2014.

On Wednesday, Scopa was due to get an update from the Hawks on investigations.

The IFP's Mkhuleko Hlengwa says he was on a flight to Cape Town on Tuesday night with at least one Transnet official.

Eyewitness News understands officials arrived at Parliament on Wednesday morning but left before the meeting was due to start.

The ANC's Nyami Booi: “The chair who says we must wait and prepare, she didn't speak for two days. She came for the first session, she didn't say a word. She came for a second session, she congratulated us and now she disappears. I don't know what she's going to say.”

Scopa says it plans to bill Transnet for the wasted travel costs.

The committee is probing irregular expenditure of R549 million.

It's also probing contract deviations worth R427 million and the expansion of contracts to the tune of R306 billion.

Last week, Transnet chief executive Siyabonga Gama told the committee that at least six contracts involving Gupta-linked companies are being probed internally.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)