'Certain car boots were full of cash' ex-Transnet treasurer tells inquiry

"It was an open secret that certain [car] boots were full of cash". 

This was part of the testimony on Friday by the former Group Treasurer of Transnet, Mathane Makgatho, at the judicial inquiry into state capture. 

The commission of inquiry has been investigating allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud since August 2018.

Makgatho said that the cash was moving around Transnet headquarters at the Carlton Centre in Johannesburg. She did not name any names. 

Makgatho, who left the state-owned freight rail and port company in 2014, was testifying about a red suitcase that she transported from China to Johannesburg for the group's former CFO Anoj Singh. 

Singh and Makgatho had headed to China for a meeting with the China Development Bank in July 2014 to talk about financing a loan.

Following the meeting, Makgatho testified, Singh said his plans had changed and he had to fly home via London.

He asked Makgatho to take his red suitcase back to South Africa for him. When she asked him why, he gave "vague answers".

"I didn’t probe further," she said. 

Makgatho said she realised afterwards that it had been a mistake to transport the suitcase. She didn't look inside.

"I don't know what was in that suitcase," she said. 

When she arrived at O.R. Tambo International Airport she handed the suitcase over to a driver for Singh. The matter was not spoken of again. 

"Probably I was a convenient messenger for the day," she told the inquiry.

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