Transnet chief executive Siyabonga Gama has launched a court application to set aside a decision to award a R2.5 billion tender to information technology firm T-Systems, which has alleged links to the controversial Gupta family.
This is according to an article in the City Press, which also reported that the preferred bidder for the contract, Gijima called for a criminal investigation into the tender.
Gama’s affidavit, filed in the Pretoria High Court last month noted how the state company’s acquisition and disposal committee (ADC) went against Transnet’s management, and National Treasury advice, by appointing T-Systems with the five-year IT data services tender on February 22.
Gijima Holdings is reported to have scored the highest points in the tender process. The company’s chief operating officer, Maphum Nxumalo, said: “It is astounding that the board of Transnet decided to ignore the evaluation team’s results and management’s recommendation.”
“The team resolved that the risks identified were too material for the tender to be awarded to Gijima,” Gama’s papers said.
City Press reported that T-Systems has been providing IT services to Transnet for seven years, at approximately R500 million a year.
It said that T-Systems’ link to the Guptas is through a data services contract that was passed over to Zestilor, after inheriting it through its purchase of Arivia.com in 2009.
“The cession contract – approved and signed by erstwhile Transnet CEO Brian Molefe on December 1 2014 – benefited Zestilor. Zestilor was owned by Zeenat Osmany, the wife of Gupta associate Salim Essa, it said.
Gama wants the tender to be reviewed and set aside by ruling Transnet’s action “invalid and unlawful”.
T-Systems filed a notice of its intention to oppose Gama’s application, while a spokesperson told City Press that it had received written questions but did not respond.