NEWS
04/05/2018 06:03 BST | Updated 04/05/2018 06:03 BST

Transnet Chair, Two Directors Resign Ahead of Meeting With Pravin Gordhan

Earlier this week, Gordhan lambasted the board for failing to act against officials implicated in corruption.

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Jacobus van der Merwe, a train driver, passes a locomotive operated by Transnet SOC Ltd. at the company's rail depot in Ermelo, South Africa, on Monday, March 10, 2014.

Transnet chairperson Linda Mabaso and two nonexecutive directors, Vusi Nkonyane and Yasmin Forbes resigned on Thursday night, ahead of a meeting with public enterprises minister Pravin Gordhan on Friday.

According to Eyewitness News (EWN), Gordhan announced the resignations in a statement on Thursday night and said they were effective immediately. This is reportedly the second meeting between Gordhan and the Transnet board.

In his statement, Gordhan reportedly said that the state-owned enterprise had become involved in corruption under the current board.

According to Fin24, he said, "Under the authority of the current board, Transnet, which has the duty to provide and maintain key transport and logistics infrastructure in order to promote the competitiveness of the South African economy, became embroiled in serious allegations of flagrant corruption and state capture. These allegations will be thoroughly investigated."

On Wednesday, Gordhan lambasted the Transnet board in front of MPs in Parliament for not taking action against people accused of corruption, EWN reported. He reportedly said board members were in disagreement with each other over whether to act against officials implicated in a forensic report compiled by Werksmans Attorneys.

The report investigated a controversial locomotive tender reportedly linked to the Guptas. The Transnet board reportedly wanted to extend the investigation, but Gordhan was not happy about this.

"The Werksman's report mentions three individuals who should have been summarily suspended and investigated. The board deliberately did not do that," Gordhan reportedly said.

In April, Transnet's chief financial officer, Garry Pita, resigned. According to Business Day, Pita called for "new leadership" at Transnet and said he was resigning because of poor health. But it was also reported that Pita was the one who signed off on dodgy invoices to Gupta-linked Trillian on behalf of Transnet.

Fin24 reported at the time that Gordhan welcomed Pita's resignation, but said it "does not absolve him of accountability should he be found to have had a role in any way or form".