Singh: I didn’t know my Dubai trips were paid for by Salim Essa

The state capture commission has shown him evidence proving that he travelled to Dubai repeatedly and either Essa or the Guptas paid for his flights and accommodation.

A screengrab of former Transnet CFO Anoj Singh giving evidence at the state capture inquiry on 12 March 2021. Picture: SABC/YouTube

JOHANNESBURG - Former Transnet CFO Anoj Singh on Thursday said he didn’t know that his Dubai trips were paid for by Gupta-associate Salim Essa.

The state capture commission has shown him evidence proving that he travelled to Dubai repeatedly and either Essa or the Guptas paid for his flights and accommodation.

Singh has been implicated in the widespread misappropriation of funds at Eskom and Transnet.

He said he wasn't aware.

The commission asked: “Do you dispute Ms Suleman's evidence that your flights were allocated to Mr Essa's account?”

Singh responded: “Yes, I was of the view that I was booking tickets on my own I had no association with the fact that the accounting of the travel excellence was allocating my tickets to Mr Essa's account.”

Singh said his business trips and vacations to Dubai were personal and he had no idea that Essa or the Guptas were paying for them.

The commission asked: “Travel Excellence is the travel agency of Mr Essa and Sahara computers, is it a coincidence that of all the hotels in Dubai you stay at were the one they are staying in?”

Singh: “I guess so…”

“MR CASH”

Singh's legal team said his privacy would be violated if he revealed details about his personal accounts.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said he was investigating allegations of corruption involving taxpayers’ money.

Zondo said it looked like Singh was “Mr Cash”.

He said it was peculiar that Singh allegedly received cash from the Guptas that he didn’t bank but saved in vaults, that he paid for expensive flights in cash, that he was paid cash in Dubai and he used cash to settle hotel bills there.

Now he wants to see the money that went into bank accounts

Singh’s lawyer advocate Anneline van den Heever disagrees: “We do have certain rights over the Constitution and I understand that there’s some public interest that’s at play, but it must be weighed up against your right to privacy.”

Zondo said he would postpone the testimony for Singh’s legal team to look at the subpoena’s and the statements before he testified about them.

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.