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Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama has fired a furious broadside against those linking Africa’s largest transport company to shady deals involving the Guptas. Last year, Transnet’s relationship with the Guptas was flagged in public protector Thuli Madonsela’s "state of capture" report. It revealed that in 2016, Transnet paid R167m to Trillian Asset Management, a small asset manager controlled by long-time Gupta business partner, Salim Essa. Trillian was paid to "structure" a multibillion-rand loan needed to buy locomotives — a deal for which there appeared to be little justification. Speaking to the Financial Mail at the Africa CEO Forum in Geneva last week, Gama became increasingly defensive when asked about this relationship. "We’ve never seen any share certificate of Trillian that says Trillian is owned by any Gupta family members. I don’t know because I live in the practical and real world," he said. Essa is a part-owner of a number of Gupta enterprises, and has been painted by many as...

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