NATIONAL NEWS - With a 15-year service at state-owned enterprise (SOE) Transnet and having served in various senior capacities, the SOE’s recently appointed group chief executive officer (CEO) Mohammed Mahomedy takes the stand on Wednesday at the commission of inquiry into state capture – expected to reveal all he knows about the powerful individuals and the companies that hugely benefited from the capture project.
Mahomedy, who has taken over the reins from Tau Morwe at the end of his six months stint, which followed the dismissal of former CEO Siyabonga Gama, is expected to explain:
• The nature of his relationship with former chief financial officers Anoj Singh and Garry Pita.
• How the multibillion-rand acquisition of electric and diesel locomotives by Transnet was facilitated.
• The role of Gama, former CEO Brian Molefe, Singh, Pita, former chief procurement officer Thamsanqa Jiyane, and former supply chain manager.
Lindiwe Mdletshe and former group supply chain officer Edward Thomas, in the massive transactions that saw China South Rail (CSR), McKinsey, Trillian, and Regiments Capital, becoming beneficiaries of Transnet tenders.
• The role of the Transnet board chaired by Mafika Mkhwanazi and other members who approved billions of questionable deals.
• A string of memorandums from Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) – Transnet’s biggest operating division – to Molefe and the board, recommending approval of the locomotive deals. These were for the acquisition of the 95 type, 100, and 1 064 type locomotives from CSR.
• Irregularities in the appointment of CSR as a service provider.
One of the several questions Mahomedy is expected to answer is whether the acquisitions were in line with the company’s procurement strategy.
According to the strategy, there had to be fairness and transparency in the tender process.
Suppliers had to commit to deliver on the government’s industrialisation objectives, which included:
• Job creation.
• Transfer of technical skills and know-how to the South African industry.
• Increasing the capability and capacity of the country’s rolling stock industry.
• Reduction of capital leakage.
• Increasing South Africa’s exports.