LIVE FEED: State Capture Inquiry - October 16, 2020
Johannesburg – The Zondo commission will hear Transnet-related testimony on Friday morning.
Former board chairperson Mafika Mkwanazi is expected to take the stand.
Testimony presented before the commission on Thursday for the first time provided the full picture of how former Transnet group chief executive Siyabonga Gama was fired but later bounced back.
The testimony by Christopher Todd, a labour lawyer from law firm Bowman Gilfillan Attorneys who was tasked with representing Transnet in legal matters between 2007 and 2010, revealed how the state-owned company allegedly engaged in dubious dealings to financially compensate Gama for costs incurred in a legal battle he had lost.
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Some of the revelations left the chairperson of the commission, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, struggling to comprehend the seemingly bizarre and illegal decisions that had been made.
Kicking off his day-long testimony, Todd told the commission that at the time of his firing in 2010, Gama was the chief executive of Transnet Freight Rail, one of the divisions of the Transnet group.
Gama was found guilty on three charges, with the two prominent ones being the fact that when the company bought locomotives for R800 million, the board wanted the assembling of the locomotives to be done by Transnet Engineering.
However, Gama defied the board and appointed a company called STS, which had to be compensated when the contract was canned.
“That involved corruption. I say that quite simply because the project manager under Mr Gama, who executed it, had a personal interest,” he said.
The other charge was related to a security contract of R18m dubiously awarded to GNS, a security company owned by former minister General Siphiwe Nyanda.
Todd said the company “had no track record” and it later emerged that it was also not registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority, and had no employees.
Zondo wondered how Gama could have been given a higher position within Transnet after he was found guilty of serious misconduct.