Transnet Freight Rail (TFR) former legal department head Kenneth Diedricks, and two others, have appeared in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court where their corruption and money laundering case was postponed.
The two other accused – Charles Pretorius and Refiloe Martins – former employees of rail maintenance company Polyzomba – did work for the state entity.
According to National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Phindi Mjonondwane, the case stems back to 2006 when TFR awarded a R64 million tender to Polyzomba “for the replacement of turnouts/track panels on the railway network” for a duration of five years.
“After the expiry of the TFR and Polyzomba contract, the latter lodged a contractual dispute with TFR for the payment of an ancillary contractual payment to the total value of R25 million.
“Before a settlement between TFR and Polyzomba could be concluded, the consultation approval and signatures of Diedricks, the General Manager of Rail Network as well as that of the Principal Engineer were required.
“On 19 December 2011, Diedricks and the said General Manager co-signed and approved the settlement of over R25 million as payment to Polyzomba without consultation, knowledge, approval and signature of the engineering department of TFR, nor the Principal Engineer,” she said.
Mjonondwane said the three are expected back in court next year.
“All accused were released on R10 000 bail after the court heard an unopposed formal bail application on condition that they should notify the investigating officer 14 days in advance of travelling out of South Africa, as well as provide the officer with a full itinerary of their travelling arrangements.
“All accused will return to court on 7 March 2023 for disclosure of the contents of the docket to the defence team,” she said.
Source: South African Government News Agency