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Zondo shocked to hear Transnet paid ex-CEO's court costs after winning case

Former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama lost an unfair dismissal dispute and the High Court ordered him to pay the costs to Transnet but instead Transnet decided to pay 75% of his costs.

FILE: Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Former Transnet legal head Siyabulela Mapoma said that his superior laughed at him when he showed her an insulting letter that former CEO Siyabonga Gama's lawyers had written to him.

He told the state capture commission that he had refused to pay R12 million to Gama's lawyers even though Transnet had agreed to pay the money because the High Court had ordered Gama to pay Transnet’s costs.

Instead, he said that he threatened to report Gama's lawyer, Themba Langa, to the Law Society.

Former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama lost an unfair dismissal dispute and the High Court ordered him to pay the costs to Transnet but instead, Transnet decided to pay 75% of his costs.

His lawyer, Themba Langa, wrote a very impolite letter to Transnet legal head Siyabulela Mapoma demanding the R12 million.

Mapoma showed the letter to his senior.

Mapoma was asked about his superior's reaction to the letter.

"She laughed at me," Mapoma told Zondo.

A bemused Zondo replied: "She laughed? Did she read the letter?"

Mapoma: "Yes."

Zondo: "Miss Stephens laughed after reading the letter and that was the end of her involvement on the issue or was there some discussion that followed between the two of you after she had laughed?"

Mapoma: "No chair."

Then Minister Malusi Gigaba's advisor also called Mapoma about the payment and Mapoma told him that he did not report to the minister or the president, another shock for Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

"Actually I've never in my experience of many, many years heard of a party undertaking to contribute to the costs of the other party who lost in a case against that party."

The commission has heard how President Jacob Zuma wanted Gama and no one else to be Transnet CEO.

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