Brian Molefe. Picture: ALON SKUY
Brian Molefe. Picture: ALON SKUY

Former Transnet CEO Brian Molefe's controversial decision to overturn the awarding of a system network contract to Neotel was unjustifiable, the state capture commission heard on Friday.

Transnet Port Terminals chief information officer Sharla Chetty told the commission how Molefe had announced in a memorandum in November 2013 his “decision” to award the tender to German IT services and consulting firm T-Systems, instead.

This was despite the fact that Neotel had been the preferred supplier, followed by Dimension Data, and T-Systems in third place.

Chetty was among the 40-odd decision makers who recommended the awarding of the contract. She said it was not a common practice that an executive would overturn a decision with no justifiable reasons.

Commission chair deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo asked Chetty if she meant there was nothing wrong with Molefe overturning her decision, as long as he followed applicable procedure?

She answered that a decision could only be overturned in cases were there were material risks against the company.

“Did he have the power to change your decision?” Zondo asked Chetty.

“I believe he would have the power,” she responded, but stated that no material risks had been picked up when a decision was made to award the tender to Neotel.

The commission will continue on Monday at 10am.

mkentanel@businesslive.co.za