Another shocking allegation has been revealed, this time by Pieter-Louis Myburgh, author of the Republic of Gupta claiming that the value of a Transnet contract shot up by billions after Salim Essa became a “negotiator”.
The contract with IT company T-Systems was increased by to a staggering R4 billion from R1.4 billion. This, after Essa, a Gupta associate, reportedly became the backchannel negotiator for the German company.
Myburgh’s piece published on News24 reports that former Transnet CFO Anoj Singh, also allegedly played a big role in Transnet’s decision to extend the T-Systems contract instead of putting out a tender.
The initial contract with T-Systems was a five-year deal to supply Transnet with data services. The contract was meant to expire in 2014, but instead got extended.
The contract was extended for a two year period, a decision that made the company an extra R1.3 billion. Due to the ongoing dispute over the contract, the company will also earn up to R900m while the disputes rage on. This is even backed up by T-Systems’ own records.
When the latest extension finally expires in May 2018, T- Systems will have earned just under R4 billion from a contract from 2010 valued at just R1.7 billion.
Although the company admitted it considered appointing Essa as a “sales agent” in 2014, it eventually decided against it. It also denies that Essa played any role in Transnet’s handling of the data services contract.
Myburgh’s sources say otherwise. Citing meeting between Transnet staff where Essa was the negotiator on behalf of T-Systems.
“During the network tender, Essa showed up and said he represented T-Systems as an intermediary. When it became clear that the tender would instead be awarded to Neotel, Essa returned to the negotiating table, this time introducing himself as a representative of Neotel,” says one source.
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