Transnet to be subpoenaed after missing Scopa date
Publish date: 07 December 2017
Issue Number: 4365
Diary: Legalbrief Today
A Transnet delegation failed to turn up in Parliament yesterday, resulting in a resolution by the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) to subpoena the SOE to appear before the committee in January, notes a BusinessLIVE report. Yesterday’s meeting was meant to discuss Transnet’s deviations from procurement guidelines and expansions of previously drafted contracts. Scopa chair Themba Godi told MPs that Transnet chair Linda Mabaso had contacted him late at night seeking a postponement of the meeting to January. The committee dismissed the suggestion that an accounting officer could dictate to Parliament when she would like to account for the management of a state-owned enterprise, and resolved to subpoena the Transnet officials. ANC MP Mnyamezeli Booi said Scopa must be unapologetic about summoning Transnet as the entity had wasted not only Parliament’s time but also that of the Hawks and National Treasury delegations that were in attendance.
The Transnet board has apologised, saying it was committed to having proper engagements with lawmakers. ‘The board is of the view that for that engagement to be meaningful and constructive, it is important for the board to be properly informed of all issues that were contained in the information that Transnet management had submitted to the committee,’ Transnet said in a statement recorded on The Citizen site. Transnet said that its board members were left with less than 48 hours to prepare for the engagement with Scopa as they had not attended either of the previous two Scopa sessions, except for Mabaso, held on 22 and 28 November. ‘The members of the board were concerned about the short notice and felt that they were inadequately prepared to engage meaningfully with Scopa with the limited time provided. Furthermore, some board members would not have been able to attend at such short notice,’ Transnet said. The company said it was committed to transparency, accountability and continuous improvement to its control environment. ‘To the extent that Transnet’s failure to appear at the Scopa meeting could be perceived as an act of disrespect toward Parliament, Transnet offers its unreserved apology both to Parliament and the South African public at large,’ Transnet said.