Portia Derby appointed as Transnet CEO

Newly appointed Transnet CEO Portia Derby. Photo: Supplied

EFF: Transnet CEO Portia Derby should be in jail for coal tender

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) wants to see the new Transnet boss handcuffed and put on trial for a tender that went south.

Portia Derby appointed as Transnet CEO

Newly appointed Transnet CEO Portia Derby. Photo: Supplied

The EFF has come out guns blazing against the appointment of Portia Derby as Transnet’s new group chief executive, labelling it as another calculating move by Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan.

‘Arrest new Transnet boss’

The EFF want Derby handcuffed, citing a tender her company was allegedly rewarded without meeting the proper requirements or following any process.

In 2011, former public enterprises minister Alec Erwin and Derby, who was director-general in the same department, took over a multimillion-rand coal project under their company, UBU Logistics.

The project, however, failed and was cancelled by the Department of Mineral Resources due to a lack of funds.

Derby must answer before court of law

“Despite the glaring evidence of serious criminal offences, Ms Derby remains a free person. She has never been charged and brought to answer for herself before the court of law,” the party said in a statement.

“We therefore, condemn the appointment of Ms Derby with contempt and instead call for her immediate arrest because the only door she should be facing, is that of jail — not of a very important institution that contributes immensely to the growth of the economy and the country.”

Appointment follows ‘extensive and rigorous search’

The Public Enterprises Ministry said the recruitment process was run by the board of Transnet, which made a recommendation on the preferred candidate to Gordhan. Cabinet agreed with Derby’s appointment at its meeting on 31 January.

“Ms Derby is an independent and dynamic leader with vast experience in the public and private sectors. She is a former director-general of the department of public enterprises, which has Transnet as one of the state-owned entities it oversees,” the ministry said in a statement.

Vast experience

In addition to serving on several boards, Derby was a director-general for the department of public works from 2005 to 2009 and has previously acted as COO for the Department of Trade and Industry.

“This experience will stand her in good stead in her new assignment. She will work with the board, management team, workers, unions and other stakeholders to rebuild an institution that was severely affected by state capture and large-scale corruption.”

“Transnet is one of the central entities in our efforts to revive the economy and simultaneously affect deep and meaningful reforms that will be felt by ordinary citizens and businesses as well,” the statement concluded.