Ex-Transnet board member fails to prove that Gordhan was racist to fire him

A request from former Transnet director Seth Radebe to destroy the decision of the foreign minister Pravin Gordhan's decision to remove him from Transnet's management was denied Tuesday at the North Gauteng Supreme Court.

Radebe accused Gordhan of racist behavior when he decided to remove Radebe in May this year. At that time, Radebe was one of the last three directors of the previous Transnet board.

In May, Gordhan announced the appointment of several additional directors to the Transnet Board of Directors to strengthen governance and reduce the financial losses of the main state enterprise.

Judge Hans J. Fabricius described Radebe's request as "rather vague". In the opinion of the judge, Gordhan took into account the relevant facts and made a rational decision, taking into account the precarious position of the SA economy and the important role Transnet must play.

Radebe told Fin24 Tuesday night that he is very disappointed that the court can not see the case from his perspective.

"I did not fight for my position, but for my dignity, I now look at my options and it can include further legal measures," Radebe said.

Lack of decisive action

The judgment refers to a lack of decisive actions of the previous administration against employees of Transnet who are involved in corruption, particularly in the tendering of 1 064 locomotives.

The judge accepted arguments on behalf of Radebe that research reports from Werksmans Advocaten and Prof. dr. H. E. Wainer were "incomplete" but found this "do not mean that they were not decisive and could not be carried out".

"From an objective point of view, there was sufficient evidence from these reports to compile a cost sheet, and there was no good reason not to suspend certain individuals as a precaution," concluded Fabricius.

The Ministry of Public Enterprise said in a statement in response to the rejection of Radebe's application that it emphasized in particular the emphasis placed by the judge on the need to restore good corporate governance to state-owned companies such as Transnet, given their role in the SA economy.

The judge found that there was no reason to question the character of Gordhan, as had been done in the application procedure. Gordhan's academic qualifications, ability and understanding of his constitutional duties were questioned.

Board & # 39; failed Transnet & # 39;

Radebe & # 39; s arguments that he is entitled to a board position on account of his academic qualification as a chartered accountant were rejected. The judge found that Radebe, as chairman of the Transnet audit committee, not only was unable to take corrective measures, but had not shown the qualities needed to create confidence that he could perform his duties.

The judge accepted Gordhan's argument that the previous board had violated Transnet, in the sense that it did not take a decision to set aside irregular contracts, or at least to stop further payments to four entities that were still carrying out their contracts for the tendering of the 1 064 locomotives.

Transnet paid R509m more for 100 locomotives after switching from a supply contract to a Chinese railway company of Mitsui & Co from Japan, according to a report commissioned by the National Treasury.

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