Transnet has welcomed a ruling by the High Court confirming that Mncedisi Ndlovu & Sedumedi (MNS) Attorneys has the authority to act on its behalf in pursuing those allegedly involved in state capture.

Polity reports since 2017, MNS has conducted a broad range of forensic investigations and legal action on behalf of Transnet.

This has led to the recovery of more than R600m that was misappropriated from Transnet during the state capture period.

One of MNS' key focuses was the removal of former Transnet group chief executive, Siyabonga Gama. This included serving summonses against him recently for the recovery of R189m which Transnet argued was due to the company.

In court on Monday, Gama contested MNS’ right to act on behalf of Transnet, a claim that was dismissed by the Gauteng High Court (Johannesburg), along with a punitive costs order.

Transnet chairperson Popo Molefe said the significance of this ruling should not be underestimated.

‘The court ruling confirms the correctness of the approach that we have taken to all those involved in the state capture project. We have lawyers who identify wrongdoing, conduct investigations on our behalf, and prepare summonses. That is the way it works.’

Molefe said the court has confirmed the lawyers' authority to act on behalf of Transnet and in so doing, opened the way for the company to begin to recoup more of the millions that have allegedly been siphoned out of the business.

Full Polity report

MNS' authority was questioned because the law firm also does work for the Popo Molefe Foundation, notes a Beeld report.

The claim against Gama is related to the controversial R54bn contract to procure 1 064 new locomotives from China and the appointment of Regiments and Trillian as consultants. In the civil suit, Gama raised an objection to the authority of MNS.

Full Beeld report (subscription needed)