Home South African Former Transnet CEO paid R13m despite being found guilty of gross negligence

Former Transnet CEO paid R13m despite being found guilty of gross negligence

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The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Monday heard that the total amount paid to Gama was R13 million despite being found guilty on three counts of gross negligence.

Siyabonga Gama. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi

FORMER Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama was paid R13 million, including benefits, despite being found guilty on three counts of gross negligence.

The freight company also paid R4m for Gama’s legal fees during his disciplinary hearing which found him guilty and declared him unfit to occupy his senior position.

Despite the disciplinary ruling and legal advice from employment law specialist Christopher Todd, the Transnet Board under Mafika Mkhwanazi reinstated Gama to his original position, back paid his salary of R2.5m including his short- and long-term benefits, since his dismissal on June 30, 2010 until his reinstatement on February 23, 2011.

The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Monday heard that the total amount paid to Gama was R13m.

These were the concessions made by Mkhwanazi during his third appearance before the commission chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

Mkhwanazi denied that the board had acted on instructions of then minister of public enterprises Malusi Gigaba.

He said Gigaba just asked the board to review Gama’s dismissal. Despite denying any influence from Gigaba, Mkhwanazi, however, admitted that his board never fulfilled the duty of reviewing the dismissal.

“We took that decision based on a document that was placed before us. It was weak legal advice,” Mkhwanazi said.

He also admitted that it was wrong for the Transnet board to reinstate Gama saying that the offences Gama was found guilty of did not warrant his reinstatement.

“In hindsight, it was wrong for us to reinstate Mr Gama, especially for signing procurement documents to illegally appointing a security company GNS to do business with Transnet. Mr Gama also admitted to Mr Christopher Todd that the GNS contract was wrong.

“Mr Gama admitted that there were gaps and loopholes in the contract. He also admitted that the GNS contract was a complete fraud,” Mkhwanazi said.

Mkhwanazi’s testimony continues.