Raymond Zondo wants Hawks to look into tainted Transnet deal
Roberto Gonsalves says CNR Consortium charged Transnet a relocation fee of R9.7m, which rose to R647m after a firm called Bex was brought in by CNR to negotiate the relocation price
The commission of inquiry into state capture instructed its legal team on Friday to contact the Hawks over damning testimony related to the tainted Transnet deal for locomotives.
Roberto Gonsalves, whose company was part of the CNR Consortium that entered into an agreement with Transnet on March 17 for the supply of 232 of the 465 diesel locomotives, at a contract price of R42m per locomotive, testified before the inquiry. The total cost was to R9.7bn.
Gonsalves told the commission how about 10 days before the consortium submitted its final tender documents, a request from Transnet came through that the project be moved from Pretoria to Durban.
“We changed our prices accordingly, which added up to R9.7bn, in our final documents,” he stated.
“There was nothing to relocate when we were told that the delivery point must be changed from Pretoria to Durban,” said Gonsalves.
“In my opinion, I don’t think we were entitled to the relocation costs. It’s not like there was this big crane that needed to be moved [to Durban],” he told Business Day on the sidelines of the commission.
Gonsalves told the commission, chaired by deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, that their preference was to manufacture the locomotives at Pretoria’s industrial area of Koedoespoort.
The CNR Consortium charged Transnet a relocation fee of R9.7m, which was included in the total cost of R9.7bn, but this ballooned to R647m after a company called Bex was brought in by the CNR Consortium to negotiate the relocation price.
After Gonsalves had concluded his testimony on Friday, Zondo said: “We must alert the chair of Transnet of this evidence that we have heard.”
“It's all taxpayers' monies, your money, all our monies, R647m, that's close to R1bn,” said Zondo, who instructed the commission's legal team to get in contact with the head of the Hawks over the matter.