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Former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama appears in the dock at the specialised Commercial Crimes court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrates court, south of Johannesburg, on May on 27 May 2022 2022. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ALAISTER RUSSELL
Former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama appears in the dock at the specialised Commercial Crimes court sitting at the Palm Ridge Magistrates court, south of Johannesburg, on May on 27 May 2022 2022. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ALAISTER RUSSELL

Former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama and Trillian’s Eric Wood appeared in the specialised commercial crimes court in Palm Ridge on Friday with three other executives.

The other accused are Transnet’s former finance head Garry Pita, ex-treasurer Phetolo Ramosebudi and Trillian co-founder Daniel Roy. Gama, who was fired as CEO of Transnet in 2018, sought bail at a court hearing in Johannesburg.

The National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigating Directorate announced the five arrests early on Friday, saying the accused face charges related to allegedly contravening the Public Finance Management Act, fraud, corruption and money laundering.

Investigating Directorate spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka said they joined alleged Gupta family fixer Kuben Moodley, who was arrested last September in connection with the matter.

TimesLIVE reported at the time that Moodley’s arrest on charges of fraud, theft, corruption and money-laundering was linked to contracts allegedly improperly awarded by Transnet to Regiments Capital and Trillian, as well as alleged theft by Regiments Fund managers from the Transnet Second Defined Benefit Fund.

Gama is among the former Transnet executives, including Pita, who state capture inquiry chair chief justice Raymond Zondo said should be investigated over transactions between the state-owned enterprise and the Guptas and their associates.

The arrest of the five represents the most high-profile detention of executives allegedly involved in state corruption during former president Jacob Zuma’s nine-year rule.

Their detention follows a three-year judicial investigation into graft that President Cyril Ramaphosa estimates cost the economy R500bn.

Bloomberg, TimesLIVE

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