Former Transnet Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Anoj Singh is set to appear before the State Capture Commission on Friday, March 12, 2021, where he will give evidence related to Transnet’s affairs and business dealings, most notably as they pertain to the Gupta family.
Singh had initially been set to appear in January 2021, however he didn’t pitch – which was to the commission’s chairperson Raymond Zondo’s dismay. Then another date was set for March, which he also could not honour as he claimed his wife had just given birth and therefore needed to be home.
“So it’s a situation where unfortunately the client needs to take care of the newborn and a number of other things. So he can’t be here today as much as he wanted to be. So our request to you is that you accept that the content and the annexures will be read,” Anneline van den Heever, Singh’s legal representative said to the commission at the time.
State Capture: What can be expected from Anoj Singh?
Having also been Eskom’s CFO, Anoj Singh is one of several key role-players in the so-called “state capture project.” It is set to be an interesting day at the State Capture Commission as Singh will have to defend himself from allegations which came out of previous testimony, including that of former Transnet CEO Brian Molefe.
Molefe told the Commission that Singh had recommended that he approve a R64 million price hike for Regiments Capital, a company which had been providing advisory services for the freight agency.
The major bone of contention was the fact that the payment of the funds was not stipulated in Transnet’s contract with Regiments. Some of the money wound up in the hands of Salim Essa, a Gupta-linked associate.
“The fact that Mr Singh had recommended it was sufficient to me,” Molefe told the commission.
Singh, who was also Eskom’s CFO from 2015 to 2016. In 2020, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) stripped him of his CA status after finding him to have been grossly negligent and dishonest. This was in relation to Transnet’s pricey locomotive deal and large contracts awarded by Eskom.
He, along with other people including Molefe and former Eskom CEO Matshela Koko, are accused of having helped the controversial Gupta family to loot the troubled power utility.