German-Swiss equipment manufacturer, Liebherr, has agreed to pay at least R54 million to Transnet as part of a settlement agreement related to two tenders the company had won to supply Transnet with cranes.

The settlement was agreed between the company, Transnet, and the Special Investigating Unit, following an investigation by the unit, which found that the decision to award the two tenders was irregular.

“Investigations also found that Liebherr had paid USD3.2 million (approximately R54 million) to Accurate Investments Limited, a sales agent appointed by Liebherr, at the time the two tenders were awarded by Transnet. As things stand, the SIU did not find evidence that the payments were corrupt or fraudulent. Nevertheless, as part of the settlement, Liebherr agreed to repay the total sum paid to Accurate Investments Limited to Transnet on a ‘without prejudice’ basis.

“The settlement agreement also provides for an audit of the supplier development obligations under the contracts. Should the audit determine that Transnet suffered any losses, the settlement agreement provides a mechanism for the resolution of the matter,” a statement by the SIU and Transnet read on Friday.

The SIU and Transnet are expected to launch a review in the Special Tribunal to have the tenders set aside.

Source: South African Government News Agency

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