The Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has obtained an order from the Special Tribunal to freeze at least R1.8 million worth of assets and pension payments linked to current and former Transnet executives and their spouses.

In a joint statement, Transnet and the SIU said investigations revealed that former Transnet Group head of property Zakele Lebela and suspended coastal regional manager Phatutshedzo Mashamba allegedly received kickbacks from two service providers between 2015 and 2018.

“The SIU and Transnet applied to the Special Tribunal following an investigation by the SIU which revealed that two Transnet executives allegedly received illicit financial benefits of approximately R10 million from Transnet service providers Superfecta Trading 209 and BBDM Bros Advertising Agency. The executives allegedly used illicit financial gains to purchase luxury real estate on behalf of trusts managed by themselves and their spouses.

“Superfecta has been an electrical and technical service provider to Transnet Property since 2016 and BBDM took a long-term lease of the Carlton Skyrink building from Transnet Property in 2015.

“Between February 2016 and August 2018, Superfecta earned more than 64 million rand in payments from Transnet as a result of its business with Transnet Property. Under the lease agreement with Transnet, BBDM received installation allowances from tenants totaling more than R73 million from March 2015 to June 2018,” the statement said.

According to a joint statement, the freezing order prohibits the sale, lease, donation or transfer of ownership of five high-end properties in Rosebank and Dynefern.

In addition, the order also “enjoins and prohibits the Transnet Pension Fund from paying or remitting any benefits” to Lebel, who resigned from the state-owned company in 2018 pending a disciplinary hearing.

“The SIU’s investigation revealed that the purchase of the property was allegedly financed with money received from [the] service providers that Transnet works with. Therefore, the luxury real estate is the proceeds of illegal activities, hence the application for a preservation order pending the final determination of the review application. The elite real estate is now under the guardianship of a curator,” the message says. –

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