NEWS
20/04/2018 09:11 SAST | Updated 20/04/2018 10:06 SAST

Transnet CFO Who Signed Trillian Invoices Resigns

But Pravin Gordhan says he is not off the hook for his role any alleged wrongdoing.

A crane operator unloads shipping containers from freight wagons at the Port of Durban, operated by Transnet SOC Holdings Ltd.'s Ports Authority, in Durban, South Africa, on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015.
Bloomberg via Getty Images
A crane operator unloads shipping containers from freight wagons at the Port of Durban, operated by Transnet SOC Holdings Ltd.'s Ports Authority, in Durban, South Africa, on Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2015.

Transnet's chief financial officer, who allegedly signed off on dodgy contracts with Gupta-linked Trillian, has resigned. But he is not off the hook for his role in alleged state capture. According to Business Day, Garry Pita resigned on Thursday citing his poor health as a reason.

In his resignation letter, he reportedly called for "new leadership" at Transnet.

"I advised you last year [2017] of my intentions to resign from the company as my health was deteriorating under the significant strain and pressure that comes with the job and this has also had a very negative impact on my family...

Yesterday, as a board we met the new minister of DPE [Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan] who made it clear Transnet needs new leadership and needs to start a new path. With that in mind I hereby tender my resignation with immediate effect as I feel that physically I can no longer continue," he reportedly wrote.

Pita allegedly signed off on invoices totalling R74-million paid to Trillian, and signed off on a deal with software company SAP that allegedly saw a Gupta-linked subcontracting firm receiving a R100-million kickback.

According to Fin24, Gordhan welcomed Pita's resignation. But his resignation did not necessarily absolve him of any wrongdoing, a spokesman said.

Acting deputy director general in the department of public enterprises, Makgola Makololo reportedly said Pita's resignation "does not absolve him of accountability should he be found to have had a role in any way or form".

"Transnet has been faced by a series of allegations of deep corruption and malfeasance with highly suspicious and questionable financial transactions to the detriment of Transnet and its reputation," read the statement.

"The current board is yet to provide credible explanations of how such transactions were approved or indeed condoned over successive financial years," he reportedly said.

Transnet thanks Pita for his role at the state owned enterprise over the years. According to Eyewitness News (EWN), Transnet said in a statement: "He leaves Transnet at a time when it is on the positive path, having weathered much of the storms arising from the global commodity crisis in the recent past."