CityPress - - News - ABRAM MASHEGO abram.mashego@city­

Transnet has made good on its threat to sue its for­mer ex­ec­u­tives, who were al­legedly in­volved in the con­tro­ver­sial 1 064 lo­co­mo­tives ten­der that saw the Gupta fam­ily and their com­pa­nies score more than R5 bil­lion in kick­backs.

On Fri­day, Transnet sent sub­poe­nas to Gupta-linked fi­nan­cial ser­vices com­pany Reg­i­ments Cap­i­tal, de­mand­ing that it re­pay the R189 mil­lion it was over­paid to pro­vide fi­nan­cial ser­vices to Transnet in the lo­co­mo­tives acquisition process, the cost of which bal­looned from R38.6 bil­lion to R54.5 bil­lion.

Transnet also sent a sum­mons to its for­mer chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Anoj Singh, for­mer group trea­surer Phetolo Ramose­budi, for­mer group chief fi­nan­cial of­fi­cer Garry Pita, and axed group chief ex­ec­u­tive Siyabonga Gama to pay back the money.

In pa­pers filed be­fore the High Court in Jo­han­nes­burg, Transnet de­manded that “the de­fen­dants (one pay­ing the other to be ab­solved) are or­dered to pay the sum of R189.24 mil­lion”.

Transnet is also seek­ing in­ter­est to be paid on the to­tal amount, which will be de­ter­mined by the court.

The freight lo­gis­tics group’s lawyers, Mnce­disi Ndlovu & Se­dumedi At­tor­neys (MNS At­tor­neys), gave the for­mer ex­ec­u­tives and Reg­i­ments Cap­i­tal 10 days to file no­tice to op­pose the law­suit.

City Press has learnt from three sources fa­mil­iar with the de­vel­op­ments that Reg­i­ments Cap­i­tal, as well as Tril­lian Cap­i­tal Part­ners to whom Reg­i­ments ceded the con­tract – which bal­looned from R15 mil­lion to R166 mil­lion – were ne­go­ti­at­ing an out-of­court set­tle­ment with Transnet.

“They have al­ready made of­fers to Transnet and the dis­cus­sions are un­der way,” said an in­sider privy to dis­cus­sions.

How­ever, this could not be con­firmed with the com­pa­nies, which could not be reached for comment.

In the sum­mons, Transnet out­lines its claims and al­ter­na­tive claims against the for­mer ex­ec­u­tives and Reg­i­ments.

In the main claim against Reg­i­ments, Transnet states in the doc­u­ments that dur­ing the course of its in­ves­ti­ga­tions into the lo­co­mo­tives ten­der, the board be­came aware of the R151 mil­lion over­pay­ment.

“Only R15 mil­lion was due, ow­ing and payable for the trans­ac­tion ser­vices pro­vided by Reg­i­ments, in­clud­ing the ar­range­ments of cross-cur­rency swaps and credit de­fault swaps with JP Mor­gan,” the pa­pers state.

In the al­ter­na­tive claim, Transnet states that Reg­i­ments, Gama, Singh, Ramose­budi and Pita col­luded fraud­u­lently to cause Transnet to trans­fer the R151 mil­lion.

Gama, Pita, Singh and Ramose­budi could not be reached on their phones yes­ter­day.

City Press has also learnt that, in ad­di­tion to this law­suit, Transnet will be launch­ing a civil suit against China South Rail, the Gupta-linked man­u­fac­turer that re­ceived the lion’s share of the ten­der to build elec­tric lo­co­mo­tives, as well as a lo­co­mo­tive main­te­nance con­tract worth hun­dreds of mil­lions of rands.

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