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South African Port, Rail Firm CFO Resigns Amid Graft Concern

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  • Garry Pita leaves company for health reasons, Transnet says
  • President referred allegations of corruption for investigation

The chief financial officer of South Africa’s state-owned ports and rail utility, which President Cyril Ramaphosa wants probed by crime-fighting authorities following corruption allegations, has resigned.

Transnet SOC Ltd. CFO Garry Pita, who had served in the position since February 2016, resigned because of health reasons, the Johannesburg-based company said in an emailed statement Thursday. It appointed Mark-Gregg McDonald as interim CFO, it said.

Transnet is among state-owned companies that have been caught up in allegations of corruption linked to the politically connected Gupta family, who are friends with former President Jacob Zuma and have done business with his son. Everyone involved has denied wrongdoing. Ramaphosa this month referred allegations of mismanagement and graft at state power utility Eskom Holdings SOC Ltd. and Transnet to the Special Investigating Unit.

Pita’s resignation doesn’t absolve him of accountability should he be found to have had a role in any mismanagement, the Department of Public Enterprises, to which Transnet reports, said in an emailed statement.

“Transnet has been faced by a series of allegations of deep corruption and malfeasance with highly suspicious and questionable financial transactions,” the department said. “The current board is yet to provide credible explanations of how such transactions were approved or indeed condoned over successive financial years.”

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