Gama accuses state capture inquiry witness of ’adding masala’ to evidence over ’bags of money’
Former Transnet Group chief executive Siyabonga Gama has accused a witness at the State Capture Inquiry of "adding masala" to his evidence in an attempt to paint him in a bad light.
Gama vehemently denied the allegations made by Witness 2 - the former driver and bodyguard who testified without revealing his identity for fear of his life, which he claimed had been threatened.
Witness 2 alleged that Gama was given bags of money by the Guptas on a number of occasions.
He claimed that he drove Gama to the Guptas Saxonwold residence and a number of other locations where a man would approach the vehicle and hand over plastics bags for him to store in Gama's vehicle.
Witness 2 said after curiosity got the better of him, he saw that the bags were filled with cash and the person handing them over was Gupta associate Salim Essa.
Witness 2 alleged that on one occasion, he found a red medical aid bag inside the boot of Gama's vehicle. He said he decided to open it and to his surprise, the bag was stacked with R200 notes. Witness 2 said he estimated that the bag contained approximately R100 000.
Gama rubbished the claims as "a figment of his imagination", saying that he prays for Witness 2 daily.
Gama told the commission that he found it strange that if someone found R100 000, they didn't question the owner about it. He said that Witness 2 never approached him with this allegation or concern and was now making up this story.
"This is a result of someone who was induced and coached and trying to create a believable story out of nothing.
"He is putting favour and masala into his story to make it look more colourful.
"He is aggrieved because he believes that if it was not for me, he would not have resigned from the company. He claims I made life unbearable for him…. But we are clearly dealing with a dishonest person here," Gama told the commission in defence.