Good on management of the Gautrain, Gauteng’s multi-billion-rand rapid rail system! Following the arrest of a former employee on Wednesday for alleged fraud and corruption involving its financial system, the company declared that it will in future conduct more stringent vetting of staff.
The Gautrain Management Agency (GMA), together with the Hawks, are our heroes of the week for their swift work in apprehending suspect Obakeng Busang and foiling a reported potential R800-million heist.
Busang was arrested by the Hawks in Pretoria on Wednesday and appeared in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court on Thursday. He had been fired by the GMA two weeks prior to his arrest, following an internal investigation.
“His employment contract with the agency was suspended two weeks ago after the agency’s internal investigation revealed his suspected involvement in what would have been a loss of millions by the GMA,” said Hawks spokesperson Paul Ramaloko.
GMA spokesperson Barbara Jansen confirmed that Busang was no longer employed by the company at the time of his arrest. "The alleged actions of the former employee, who worked with us for 18 months, were discovered after a routine IT system check,” she told Timeslive. “Attempts were made on our system two weeks ago. We discovered that he was trying to access our financial management systems."
According to Timeslive, Busang faces charges of fraud, corruption and contravention of the Communications Act. He was charged after allegedly hacking into the agency's financial management computer systems and gaining access to banking codes, and employees' financial details, including bank account data.
He is to appear again on 2 December, where he will be able to apply for bail.
Future Gautrain employees to be more stringently vetted
Ramaloko said the suspect is believed to have allegedly reproduced bank accounts as well as other financial details and documents that would have allowed him access to the money.
Jensen said there would be a review of the company's security checking policy. "Checks will be done by the State Security Agency," she said.
The Gautrain is by far the province’s largest infrastructure project to date, having cost in the region of R30-billion to set up. Through its network of trains, buses and shuttles, the services is used by thousands of commuters daily, while its airport service is used by people traveling into or out of the province and want to avoid road traffic.
Gauteng MEC for transport Ismail Vadi commended the work by the Hawks and GMA, saying: “a possible threat to the GMA computer systems was detected during a routine audit and the Hawks were duly notified… The GMA systems, as a result of the early detection, were not compromised.”
The Hawks are expecting more arrests soon.