A senior Transnet executive has been put on special leave following a News24 report on a R10 million tender the state-owned company awarded to the executive’s former boss.
Transnet confirmed on Wednesday that Sandile Simelane, the head of Transnet Freight Rail’s (TFR) corporate affairs department, was placed on special leave pending an investigation into the tender in question.
Earlier this month News24 revealed that TFR had awarded a R10 million tender to a company owned by Simelane’s former boss at the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA).
Transnet insiders have alleged that Simelane played a key role in helping his former boss’s company secure the lucrative contract.
The company, Casterbridge Consulting, was paid R400,000 a month over a period of two years for “stakeholder management services” related to Transnet’s Swaziland Rail Link project.
The company has no business premises or website and it apparently communicated with Transnet using a Gmail account.
When pressed for proof of the work Casterbridge Consulting did for TFR, neither Transnet nor the company’s owner, Sandile Madolo, could provide any material.
A Transnet insider claimed that Casterbridge was paid R400,000 each month, regardless of whether it had done any work or not.
“Transnet has instituted an investigation relating to a contract that was awarded for the provision of stakeholder management services for the Swazi Rail project,” said Mike Asefovitz, a TFR spokesperson.
“Mr Sandile Simelane has been put on special leave to allow for the process to take its course,” added Asefovitz.