Gigaba denies influencing Gama’s reinstatement, payment by Transnet

The State Capture Commission heard on Friday heard that Gama lost a court case in which he was challenging his dismissal and he was slapped with costs – but the board decided to reinstate him, back pay him, and pay his legal costs.

A screengrab of former Cabinet minister Malusi Gigaba appearing at the state capture inquiry on 21 May 2021. Picture: SABC/YouTube

JOHANNESBURG – Former Minister Malusi Gigaba has said he had no influence in the major settlement that the Transnet board decided to pay Siyabonga Gama.

The State Capture Commission heard on Friday heard that Gama lost a court case in which he was challenging his dismissal and he was slapped with costs – but the board decided to reinstate him, back pay him, and pay his legal costs.

Gigaba testified that allegations that he had anything to do with that were false.

Mafika Mkhwanazi was Transnet board chair when the rail agency decided to award Gama R17 million in back pay and legal costs, and to reinstate him even though he had lost in court.

Initially, Mkhwanazi told the commission that Gigaba had no influence but later said quote – “definitely Mr Gigaba in my interaction with him played a role that said can you review this matter, but not necessarily the actual settlement agreement”.

READ: Gigaba denies issuing orders for Gama to be reinstated as Transnet CEO

Advocate Anton Myburgh said to Gigaba: “On Mr Mkhwanazi concessions, it’s that the decision and the terms of the settlement were so indefensible that it must have been influenced by the shareholder instruction.”

But Gigaba said he meant the board should make its own decision.

“I have stated it here...unless the argument is ‘No Mr Gigaba here is irrefutable evidence that you gave an instruction for this decision to be taken.' I made no such instruction to the board of Transnet.”

The former minister denies that he sent his former special advisor Siyabonga Mahlangu to tell the then head of legal Siyabulela Mapoma that he (Gigaba) wanted Gama reinstated.

WATCH: Zuma didn't tell me to reinstate Gama at Transnet - Gigaba

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