Siyabonga Gama. File Photo: Werner Beukes/SAPA

JOHANNESBURG - Former Transnet chief executive Siyabonga Gama on Thursday lost his Labour Court application to have his dismissal by the board of the state-owned freight and rail company set aside, and was ordered to pay the costs for Transnet, including two of its lawyers.  

Labour Court judge Connie Prinsloo said that Gama dismally failed to satisfy even the requirements for the contempt application and the interdict he sought. Prinsloo said that this was the second time that Gama had dragged Transnet to court on extremely short notice and at great cost, when he should rather be resolving his contractual dispute at arbitration. 

"[Transnet] had to defend a meritless urgent application fairness dictates that it cannot be expected to endure enormous costs defending litigation that ought not to have been brought in the first place. This is more so where the costs incurred by [Transnet] are paid from the taxpayers' money," Prinsloo said. 

Gama was fired as group chief executive officer of Transnet last month after he failed to provide the board with reasons why he should not be fired, saying that it had lost trust and confidence in his ability to lead Transnet.

On September 27, Gama was given 10 days to submit written representations as to why he should not be fired, but Gama approached the Labour Court in Johannesburg to interdict the intention to dismiss him. The reasons supplied to Gama were alleged serious violations of his financial, procurement, and fiduciary duties.

Two law firms, Werksmans and MNS, have implicated Gama in alleged breaches of procurement rules on a R54 billion contract to buy 1,064 new locomotives.

- African News Agency (ANA)