Transnet 'kickback' scandal widens

August 7, 2015, 5:07am



Transnet 'kickback' scandal widens

A storm threatens at the state company over tender-free CCTV projects with Neotel worth R835-million.

State-owned Transnet has awarded two more mega-projects to telecoms firm Neotel, both without going to tender. And there are indications that mystery company Homix may have been involved again.

AmaBhungane revealed last week that Neotel paid R66-million in commissions – seemingly kickbacks – to Homix to secure contracts from Transnet. A further R25-million was agreed but not yet paid.

Homix is little more than a letterbox; an apparent front for persons undeclared. A former senior Gupta employee has been linked to Homix, but the politically well-connected family has distanced itself from him and denied having a relationship with the company.

Neotel’s board commissioned an investigation into the payments after the company’s auditors blew the whistle to it in April. Neotel said after last week’s exposé that its chief executive and chief financial officer had “taken special leave in co-operation with this investigation”.

Transnet, whose chief financial officer, Anoj Singh, is also entangled in the matter, has denied impropriety. Singh has been seconded as of this month to navigate Eskom out of the fiscal doldrums...

By Steffans Brummer for Mail and Guardian