Gama says he didn't know Gigaba was involved with his reinstatement

Advocate Anton Myburgh asked former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama if he knew that he was negotiating his settlement with people who were told by incoming Minister Malusi Gigaba to give him what he wanted.

FILE: A screengrab of former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama giving evidence at the state capture inquiry on 11 March 2021. Picture: SABC/YouTube

JOHANNESBURG - Former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama said that he was not aware that board chair Mafika Mkhwnazi and head of legal, Siyabulela Mapoma, were under pressure from Malusi Gigaba to pay him R17 million in legal costs and reinstate him.

The state capture commission heard testimony about financial irregularities at the parastatal.

The commission heard that according to Transnet policy, anyone dismissed could not be reappointed but the board reinstated Gama anyway.

Former Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan said that former President Jacob Zuma told her that he wanted Gama and no one else.

Gama had been found guilty of gross misconduct after defying board instructions.

READ: Molefe denies knowing why Gama was paid R17m in legal costs despite losing case

Advocate Anton Myburgh asked him if he knew that he was negotiating his settlement with people who were told by incoming Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba to give him what he wanted.

“There was never any mention to me that there's any politician or anyone involved. We were just talking about what was before us, to say how do we resolve the matter."

Gama had admitted guilt for misconduct and lost a court bid challenging his dismissal but he managed to convince the board to rule in his favour.

“The Nkonki KPMG report came to the same conclusion that the was no one at Transnet other than Gama that had ever been charged, disciplined and fired for something that could have been rectified inside the company if people were just being fair to one another."

After being reinstated as CEO of Transnet Freight Rail, he contested the group CEO position and he got it.

GUPTA AMBUSH

Gama also said that he was annoyed when he found out that Salim Essa had made him go to the Gupta residence.

He said that he went there because Essa had invited him to a meeting and gave him that address but he didn't know who it belonged to.

Gama said he had met Essa at Transnet, where his company Regiments was doing work with McKinsey, and he was surprised when Tony Gupta walked into the meeting and Essa told him that the family was influential.

Gama said that Tony Gupta said they had followed his career and they would be in touch about cooperation with their companies.

But Gama said that when he left, he told Essa that he wasn't pleased.

"He walked me out as I left and I expressed my dissatisfaction to say 'look, you shouldn't ambush me and bring me to people's homes when I thought you wanted to tak about the business.'"

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