On July 5 2012, former Transnet and Eskom chief financial officer Anoj Singh opened an FNB account at the Carlton Centre branch with an opening cash deposit of R200.
By July 2016, his cash in the bank had grown to R16-million, an amount that significantly exceeded his salary deposits.
Singh is implicated in numerous allegations of collusion with the Gupta family network in his roles at both Transnet and Eskom. The #GuptaLeaks emails have previously revealed that he benefited on several occasions from lavish trips to Dubai sponsored by the family.
A National Treasury report into State Capture at Eskom and Transnet has recommended that the Hawks investigate Singh with regard to his tenure at both Eskom and Transnet.
This is the first time that an official investigation has looked into his financial affairs.
The amount in his account included his salary, but that does not account fully for the big deposits that kept pinging into it, according to the report released on Friday.
Forensic investigators for the company Fundudzi, commissioned by the Treasury, probed transactions related to the Gupta network of companies and individuals active at Transnet and Eskom. They also investigated the work of financial advisers and management consultants at McKinsey, Trillian and Regiments.
Every month, Singh’s salary was paid into his account from both Transnet and Eskom during the periods he worked there. But in addition, other money was pinging into his account with some regularity.
The credits into Singh’s FNB account “included what appears to be his monthly salaries from Transnet and Eskom. The credits further reflected large sums of money whose sources are unknown and suspicious”, says the report.
One other trend is highlighted by the investigators. “…We determined that Singh did not utilise his salary for the period of July 2012 to July 2015.” The report notes that:
“Singh may have received funds from other sources to service his personal lifestyle as there were minimal transactions in his bank account.”
In addition, Singh made transfers out of his primary account into other FNB accounts. When asked about the deposits and transfers, Singh said through his attorneys:
“All the funds received in our client’s bank account and referred to in the (then) draft report were received in lieu of our client’s employment at Transnet and/or Eskom.”
However, the Treasury report says:
“Singh is not telling the truth by stating that all funds received were in lieu of employment at Transnet/Eskom because the analysis shows that he received other suspicious credits into his bank account.
“It is not clear how Singh was servicing his personal accounts because for a period of four years we could not see any debit orders or cash withdrawals for paying his personal accounts,” it continues.
The report recommends that the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigations, the Hawks, investigate the sources of Singh’s income and also investigate the trust accounts of his attorneys.
In addition, the report found that Singh allegedly received requests for transfers from Eskom CEO Brian Molefe, or someone using his email address.
“From an analysis of Singh’s emails, we determined that 3 November 2015 at 13:54 there was an email sent to his email address from [email protected]. It read:
“Hello Anoj How are you? I need you to prepare a wire transfer for a payment, let me know if you’re available so I can send you transfer details. Thanks Sent from my iPhone.”
The investigators say they could find no response from Singh and neither could they find the email when they reviewed Molefe’s emails. They also found an email dated six days later, from Molefe or someone using his account. This time the message read:
“Hello Anoj. How are you doing today? Am very busy that is why you I didn’t respond on time. Here is the details. Bank name: CIBC Accfount number: 06182/8280290; Amount £20,000.
Communication such as this this is tabulated for pages and pages in the report as being between Molefe (or an email sender pretending to be him) and Singh. In it, Singh receives alleged instructions to make transfers of significant amounts to local and international bank accounts.
Singh told investigators that “the emails referred to in the draft report were not authentic due to various email domains being hacked. A criminal case was filed with the South African Police Services (“SAPS) in the respect under (sic) case number : 982/9/2015 at the Sandton SAPS”.
“No payments were effected in accordance with this bogus e-mail instruction as referred to in this report,” said Singh.
However, investigators say Sandton police told them that that case number on the system was opened in respect of a theft and robbery case involving a Zimbabwean national. The police said they had no record of a criminal case opened by Singh in respect of alleged email domains or any other criminal activity.
“Captain Motsai (of Sandton police station) stated the only record appearing on the system registered by Singh was in respect of a car hijacking which took place in Durban during 2012 and the case was opened at Durban central police station with case number 1333/13/2012,” according to the report.
Singh, who resigned from Eskom in early 2018, is a decorated public finance specialist who won many awards in the early years of his career. He is a chartered accountant who started his career at Spar, then moved to Deloitte before joining Transnet. DM
"By scepticism...we arrive first at suspension of judgement, and second at freedom from disturbance." ~ Sextus Empiricus