Guards meant to protect Transnet officials were seconded to Malusi Gigaba, report shows
Transnet appointed and paid for two bodyguards under the pretext they were going to provide security to group exec, but instead they were seconded to Gigaba, a report shows
An explosive Treasury report has revealed how Transnet provided security personnel to Malusi Gigaba‚ who was public enterprises minister at the time‚ without following due process.
According to the report‚ Transnet appointed and paid for two bodyguards under the pretext that they were going to provide security services to the parastatal's group executives. Instead‚ they were seconded to Gigaba.
This happened under the watch of Brian Molefe‚ who was Transnet's CEO at the time.
Gigaba resigned as home affairs minister, and as an MP, this week. This followed the public protector's finding that Gigaba had violated the constitution and the executive code of ethics when he lied to the court regarding the Fireblade Aviation matter. The Constitutional Court also dismissed his application to appeal against a judgment that he lied under oath in the same case.
One of the Treasury reports released on Friday found that in May 2013 Rodney Toka‚ who was an employee in charge of security services at Transnet‚ allegedly prepared a memorandum sent to Molefe for the appointment of two new close-protection officers.
Toka's memorandum said the purpose was to mitigate potential risk to Transnet's group executives. He recommended that Molefe appoint David Machete and Bongani Alson Zwane at the cost of about R300‚000 a year each.
Molefe approved the appointments on the same day.
Both were seconded to Gigaba at the department of public enterprises — and each was given a vehicle belonging to Transnet. The appointments were not disclosed to the board.
It is believed that at some stage during Gigaba’s tenure he indicated to his security team that there were threats to his life, and he met the police's VIP protection unit to discuss his security. The report alleges that before the police could complete a mandatory security assessment‚ Gigaba approached Transnet and asked for additional security.
But in his response to the Treasury‚ Gigaba indicated that he was allocated police VIP protection officials and he was further advised‚ based on a completed security assessment‚ that he needed additional security.
“Minister Gigaba indicated that he was advised that a request was addressed to Transnet to provide the said backup as an interim measure until SAPS had enough resources. Minister Gigaba stated that the Transnet services were only for backup as he still used the SAPS VIP protection‚” the authors of the report say.
The Treasury concluded that Zwane and Machete were appointed without following Transnet's recruitment processes because the positions were not advertised and no interviews were conducted.
“There is no evidence that there was any assessment done on any of the group executives to determine their need for additional security personnel. There is no evidence that the Transnet board was aware of‚ or approved‚ this arrangement. There is no proof that [police] advised Gigaba or his head of security to look for alternative security personnel at Transnet or anywhere else‚” the authors of the report conclude.
The Treasury recommended that the expenditure incurred should be regarded as fruitless and wasteful.
Other damning finding in the Treasury commissioned reports involve several former senior Transnet officials‚ the state-owned company's board‚ Gupta associate Anoj Singh and Gigaba.
It investigated two procurement deals — one for 95 locomotives and one for 1‚064 locomotives from China South Rail (CSR) and China North Rail (CNR).
Their costs were overpriced by R1.2bn and R16bn, respectively.
At the time the tenders were approved‚ Gigaba compromised the procurement process for the 95 locomotives by signing the locomotive supply agreement between Transnet and CSR as a witness‚ and the report's authors say he acted "outside his authority" in advising Transnet to continue to procure 1‚064 more locomotives.