Zondo Inquiry told that Gama paid Transnet costs as per court order

Siyabonga Gama said there was no political influence, which forced the board to reimburse him by 75% of Transnet’s costs, despite the court order.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The state capture commission said it was hearing for the first time that former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama had already paid Transnet’s legal fees costs as ordered by the High Court.

The commission was hearing the testimony of financial irregularities at the parastatal on Thursday.

Gama said there was no political influence, which forced the board to reimburse him by 75% of Transnet’s costs, despite the court order.

Transnet agreed to pay Siyabonga Gama R17 million legal fees, but he said he only received R2 million.

The commission said it was hearing for the first time that he had already paid Transnet costs as per the High Court order.

But Gama said he was able to get his way with the settlement because one of the charges that led to his dismissal was because his team abandoned a tender process and opted for confinement.

He said that was done without his knowledge, so it was not fraud by him. But he took the blame for signing documents without reading them.

“You accept, do you not, criticism that you were wrong to sign such an important document without reading it?" asked Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. To which Gama replied: “Yes”.

Gama said he was not aware that board chair Mafika Mkhwanazi and head of legal Siyabulela Mapoma were under pressure from Malusi Gigaba to pay him and reinstate him.

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