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New CEO Vuyani Jarana would later say that the contract, which he negotiated all by himself, became necessary after threats were made to SAA's corruption-busting leadership.

To date SAA has not revealed the nature of these threats, what assessment was made before putting out the tender, or why the contract was suddenly cancelled.

In another instance of dubious practice, SAA's procurement office, the bid adjudication committee, raised concern about why international consultancy Bain & Co was the preferred bidder when its bid was R90-million more than others.

Minutes and documents of that meeting will reveal that the committee also raised concerns about the fact that the company was doing pro bono work in Jarana's office, without having gone through the necessary processes.

"Often a noble face hides filthy ways." This quote from the great ancient Greek playwright Euripides comes to mind whenever one finds oneself gripped by developments at South Africa's state-owned enterprises. Recent history teaches us a valuable lesson, which should be heeded by those we entrust with driving our crippled economy. Who can forget the ease with which Brian Molefe used our fear of the dreaded load- shedding monster to open the treasure chest at Eskom to the Guptas? Molefe, along with trusted lieutenants including Anoj Singh and Matshela Koko, created crisis after crisis to grant the family coal supply contracts worth billions - all at the expense of Eskom and ordinary South Africans.The feast prepared for the Guptas included a multibillion-rand coal mine, as well as a R600-million gift disguised as a contract to help pull Eskom out of the crisis. At Transnet the family's connections assisted in scam after scam, the apex of which was a locomotives supply deal for which t...

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