Cape Town — Five ex-senior Transnet officials, including former chief executive Siyabonga Gama, have been arrested on charges of money laundering, corruption and fraud, Mail & Guardian reports. This comes after the Investigative Directorate (ID) who, in collaboration with special police unit the Hawks, confirmed the suspects' apprehension at the Brackendowns police station in Alberton in the Gauteng province.
"Five former senior executives at Transnet have been arrested by the Hawks and ID, after handing themselves in at the Brackendowns Police Station this morning. They will appear before Palm Ridge Magistrates' Court sitting as the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court. They are charged with contravention of the Public Finance Management Act, fraud, corruption and money laundering," the ID said on Twitter.
In Part 2 of his State Capture report on how Transnet became the principal site of looting by the Gupta enterprise, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo described Gama, along fellow former chief executive Brian Molefe and former chief financial officer Anoj Singh as the "primary architects" of State Capture at Transnet.
The report further details that the capture of Transnet began after the resignation of Maria Ramos as group chief executive in 2009. Former president Jacob Zuma appointed Malusi Gigaba in 2010, who was behind the process of appointing Brian Molefe as chief executive. Shortly afterwards, Gama was reinstated at Transnet Freight Rail despite his earlier dismissal due to charges of misconduct.
Witness testimony at the Zondo Commission alleged that Gigaba, Gama and Molefe, along with former acting Transnet chief financial heads Garry Pita and Anoj Singh, received bribes from connections to the Guptas. This was cited by Zondo who said that kickbacks were secured though elements of racketeering through agreements worth billions with the Chinese Railway Rolling Stock Corporation. "Other instances of wrongdoing also advanced the interests of the Gupta enterprise and the racketeering scheme – all of which require further investigation and possible prosecution by the law enforcement authorities on charges related to the specific offences and also, where appropriate, on racketeering charges," Zondo said at the time.