Transnet’s board has issued its chief executive, Siyabonga Gama, chief procurement officer Thamsanqa Jiyane and supply chain manager Lindiwe Mdletshe with precautionary suspension notices, the state-owned entity said on Thursday.
The three have until the close of business day on Monday, August 20, to provide written submissions on why they should not be suspended.
In a statement, Transnet said that reports from Werksmans Attorneys, Mncedisi Ndlovu & Sedumedi Attorneys and Fundudzi Forensic Investigators, revealed various acts of possible misconduct against the three employees.
All three, the statement noted, have been implicated in the alleged contravention of the Constitution; the Public Finance Management Act; the Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act and its regulations; Transnet’s internal procurement policies in the issuance of requests for proposals; the Companies Act and Fiduciary Duties; and improper changing of evaluation criteria and failure to comply with government policy on local content requirements.
Gama, Ndlovu and Mdlethse are on precautionary suspension pending the outcome of the investigations and possible disciplinary enquiries.
“In view of the seriousness of the alleged transgressions, the Transnet Board is concerned that the continued presence of the three employees, given their seniority and influence might interfere with and jeopardise the investigation,” the statement read.
According to Business Day, the three were allegedly involved in Transnet’s questionable procurement of 1 064 diesel and electric locomotives.
The statement further noted that Gama received his notice on the grounds that he “wrongfully obtained his MBA with the help of a service provider to Transnet”.
Last week, global consultancy firm McKinsey admitted that it helped Gama prepare a part of his thesis to obtain an MBA. Gama denied this, saying the firm helped with language.
According to News24, Gama was awarded the Trium Global MBA by the New York University Stern School of Business, the London School of Economics and Political Science, and HEC Paris School of Management.