Potential bid rigging in Transnet-Regiments dealings confirmed

Board chairperson Popo Molefe says the new board needs more time to acquaint itself with all the investigations underway.

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CAPE TOWN - Transnet’s internal audit committee has confirmed potential bid rigging in the company’s dealings with the Gupta-linked advisory firm Regiments Capital.

A contract worth R375 million was signed more than six months after work commenced.

It was one of the investigations Parliament’s Public Enterprises Committee was due to discuss with the parastatal’s board on Wednesday.

But Members of Parliament (MPs) refused to receive a progress report on the investigation from Transnet officials who are implicated, including CEO Siyabonga Gama.

According to a presentation submitted to Parliament, Gama signed a two-year agreement with Regiments in November 2015.

An investigation by Transnet’s internal audit department has found post-tender negotiations should have seen the contract value decreased to R300 million, but this never happened.

Regiments was paid R191 million and Trillian Capital R93 million without being linked to any contracts.

The investigation has also found a litany of payment irregularities such as duplicate and advance payments.

Hourly rates varied across invoices, and there were no supporting documents for expenses.

Board chairperson Popo Molefe says the new board needs more time to acquaint itself with all the investigations underway.

“We are a board that’s in office for 11 weeks only, and we hit the ground running because we had major problems.”

The committee has agreed it will call Transnet at a later date to discuss progress in the investigations.

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)