Transnet says all employees involved in its four controversial contracts for the acquisition of more than 1 000 locomotives have resigned or have been dismissed as it battles to restore credibility.

‘All those responsible have left Transnet’s employment. Transnet dismissed three employees. Others involved have resigned,’ Sandra Coetzee, Transnet chief legal officer, told MPs yesterday.

Business Day reports that she did not say how many implicated staff resigned. Coetzee was updating the Select Committee on Public Enterprises & Communication on internal investigations and alleged misconduct by Transnet employees.

Transnet signed the contracts amounting to R54.4bn to acquire the locomotives in March 2014 in one of the largest procurement initiatives by a SOE.

The deal was signed with South China Rail, North China Rail, General Electric and Bombardier Transportation in the renewal of Transnet’s rolling stock. The initial estimated price of the tender was R38.6bn, but it shot up to R54.4bn amid claims of corruption.

The Gupta family, friends and business partners of former President Jacob Zuma and his son Duduzane, were alleged to have received millions in kickbacks, according to testimony at the State Capture Inquiry.

Coetzee said criminal and civil referrals had been made against staff involved in the transactions; ‘consequence management is being enforced. Most of the resignations ... occur on the strength of the charge sheet that is being presented to the individuals. We have also introduced independent presiding officers to ensure that the disciplinary hearings are fair and enforceable,’ she said.

Full Business Day report