Parliamentary committee to probe R50bn locomotive acquisition

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The portfolio committee on trade and industry has agreed to hold a parliamentary committee inquiry into the Transnet acquisition of 1 064 locomotives at a cost of R50-billion‚ the Democratic Alliance said on Friday.

The DA said it hoped to get answers after two failed attempts at extracting answers from Transnet chief executive Siyabonga Gama‚ who appeared before the committee to answer for the many allegations that have dogged this programme.

The allegations include the involvement of the Gupta family through associate Salem Essa’s Tequesta Group‚ which received R5.3-billion in kickbacks from China South Rail‚ and what the relationship between Gama and Essa was in relation to these contracts.

“We know that state-owned enterprises like Transnet have become ground zero for the Guptas to rob and loot South Africa of its resources‚” DA representative on trade and industry Dean Macpherson said in a statement.

He said Transnet could not be allowed to get away with protecting one family at the expense of good governance and fighting corruption.

“That’s why only a committee inquiry can finally get to the bottom of this mess and finally bring accountability to this incredible theatrical act which is costing South Africans billions‚” Macpherson said.

He said the DA would fight hard to ensure that the veil of secrecy around these contracts was finally lifted and those that have stolen money are held accountable.

By: Ernest Mabuza

TMG Digital

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