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Transnet was the first target of state capture - Popo Molefe

The parastatal's board chair says some executives were professional thieves and went to work only to loot the company.

Transnet board chairperson Popo Molefe during a media briefing on 17 January 2019. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Transnet board chair Popo Molefe has revealed that the parastatal was the first to be targeted by state capture.

A new board was appointed last May and has been trying to recoup money lost through maladministration.

Molefe says that some executives were professional thieves and went to work only to loot the company.

He says that more evidence of maladministration and corruption under Transnet’s previous management is being discovered.

“We are increasingly beginning to understand the scale of theft and the abuse of public resources. The claws of that corruption have ran deep, those roots are so deep that we don’t know how soon we would get them out.”

Molefe says that summons have been served on some of the former top executives implicated in maladministration and corruption at the rail agency.

The state-owned company's been working on a clean-up operation at the parastatal which has allegedly been looted by Gupta allies in prominent positions.

Legal steps have been taken in hope of recovering the money stolen from the state-owned enterprise, which calculates up to R1.3 billion so far.

Molefe says that disciplinary hearings for those implicated in maladministration are also expected to start next week.

“We want to purely operate on a professional basis, we don’t want to treat everybody as a suspect. But we’ve here people with extensive experience in logistics, transport and infrastructure.”

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)