Caption: Nonkululeko Sishi, Transnet group human resources officer, and Tumelo Mokwena, General Manager: Human Capital, together at the signing of Transnet current wage agreement in 2018. Mokwena resigned last year with a golden handshake and Sishi reached a settlement agreement with Transnet after facing allegations relating to State Capture.




Eighteen months ago, Minister of Public Enterprises Pravin Gordhan promised South Africa that alleged corrupt employees of state-owned enterprises (SOE’s) would soon be “in the dock” and if found guilty, “walking around in orange clothing.”

But instead of adhering to the Minister’s promise, Portia Derby, Chief Executive of Transnet, decided to get rid of its Executive Officials against whom serious allegations relating to the State Capture era were made by giving them golden handshakes.

This tendency of Transnet emerged again today in the Business Maverick report: “Transnet fires executives over wrongdoing during State Capture.”

Steve Harris, General Secretary of the United National Transport Union (UNTU), says according to the article Transnet has dismissed executives Nonkululeko Sishi, the group human resources officer, Lenny Moodley, the chief executive of Transnet’s Pipelines, and Shulami Qalinge, the chief executive of Transnet’s National Port Authority (TNPA).

All three faced disciplinary hearings after they were accused of misconduct relating to “breaches of Transnet processes and ethical standards expected of a senior manager”.

According to the report the Transnet’s acting chief human resources officer, Khaya Ngema, said Sishi’s disciplinary hearing was concluded: “after a settlement was reached with her to exit the organisation”. He refused to give details of her settlement agreement saying, “It is not Transnet policy to discuss employee matters in the public domain.”

“This comes less than a year after Dr Popo Molefe, Chairman of the Board of Transnet, assured UNTU that no more golden handshakes will be given to Executives accused of wrongdoing, irrespective if they are found guilty or not.

“Molefe’s response came after UNTU challenged the golden handshakes that was given to former executive managers Ravi Nair, former Chief Executive Officer of Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) and Tumelo Mokwena, General Manager: Human Capital, who resigned. Transnet admitted that Mokwena got a golden handshake of R9,7 million. In total golden handshakes to the value of approximately R28 million where payed to former executives,” says Harris.

UNTU find it highly disturbing that millions are being paid to managers who were allegedly corrupt while Transnet employees are simply being dismissed.

“UNTU has got reason to believe that Transnet is simply paying to find an easy way out instead of adhering to it’s Minister’s promise to ensure that criminal charges are laid and if found guilty, imprisoned. To date UNTU is not aware of any criminal prosecutions that relates to Transnet State Capture.”

Gordhan told organised labour at the annual Nedlac Organised Labour School in January 2019 that the corruption at Transnet was done “masterfully”. Transnet was the first SOE which was used as a pilot project for state capture by moving as much capital as possible in expenditure and into the pockets of individuals.

“The current Board of Transnet is strong and is already dealing with some of the Executives with loaded pockets. Others will follow,” Gordhan said.

Harris says UNTU will place this on the agenda of the Union’s meetings with the Minister and with the Board that is due.

For more information phone Harris on 082 566 5516.

Issued on behalf of UNTU by Sonja Carstens, UNTU Media, Liaison and Communication Officer. For UNTU Press Releases e-mail or phone 082 463 6806.


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