Former Transnet and Eskom chief financial officer, Anoj Singh, was a no-show at the start of his disciplinary hearing on Wednesday morning in Johannesburg.
Singh is facing charges of misconduct and gross negligence instituted against him by the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants. No legal representative for Sigh was present on Wednesday. Presiding Officer Mohamed Chohan told the hearing that Singh had pleaded not guilty.
The panel resolved to go ahead with the proceedings which have been set down for three days.
Singh was in 2009 appointed acting chief financial officer for Transnet, a position that was made permanent in 2012. In 2015 he left Transnet for Eskom. He was placed in special leave in July 2017 and suspended later that year. He resigned from the power utility in January 2018. Singh has previously denied being involved in corruption, and has denied having personal links to the Gupta family.
Evidence leader, Advocate Hamilton Maenetje, on Wednesday said that Singh - who is facing 18 charges linked to his previous roles at the two state-owned entities - was notified of the hearing. There was also communication with his lawyers.
The hearing will first deal with transgressions relating to Transnet, where three witnesses will be called to testify, including Francis Callard, who has already given evidence before the judicial commission of inquiry into into state capture.
The testimony of the retired former Transnet engineer centred on large cost overruns in a contract for 1 064 new locomotives, which was signed during Singh’s time as chief financial officer. The hearing heard that Singh chaired the committee which prepared a memorandum for the processing of the contract. One of the 18 charges relate to an alleged failure to disclose to the Transnet board the reasons that lead to cost increases.
Transnet has already issued summons against Singh and other former executives to pay back some of the funds it says were improperly incurred by the state-owned company in the contract.