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Witness highlights changes instructed by Singh in procurement of locomotives

Former Transnet strategy manager Francis Callard is the first witness to appear before this disciplinary committee on Wednesday.

FILE: Anoj Singh. Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A former strategy manager at Transnet has told the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (Saica)'s disciplinary committee there were contradictions between the original business plan for the procurement of 1,046 controversial locomotives at Transnet and the final version that was submitted to the board.

The institute hearing is being held to establish whether former Eskom and Transnet CFO Anoj Singh should be stripped of his Saica membership for allegedly acting dishonestly and against the Saica Code of Conduct.

Former Transnet strategy manager Francis Callard is the first witness to appear before this disciplinary committee on Wednesday.

In his testimony so far, he’s named Singh as the one who gave the instruction that led to the changes to the business case.

“There was another previous version of this PowerPoint presentation where the concluding slide excluded the potential effects.”

This eventually led to the Transnet board receiving a business case for the procurement of the locomotives that did not take into account extra costs including borrowing rates.

In his opening statement, Saica’s Advocate Hamilton Maenetje explained that they intend to show that Singh concealed from the board the fact that the business case was no longer profitable for Transnet.

He argued that Singh either misled the board directly or allowed the board to be misled.

The estimated cost of the project rose from R38.6 billion to R54.5 billion.

Singh - who has been suspended from Saica - could possibly have his membership de-registered should the committee find against him.

He’s chosen not to attend proceedings.

WATCH: Anoj Singh's Saica hearing gets under way without him

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