Leaked Hawks dossier reveals how Siyabonga Gama believed his bodyguard tried to kill him
Johannesburg - The Star has reliably learnt of an alleged poisoning and “witchcraft” plot involving former Transnet chief executive Siyabonga Gama and his bodyguard, Vusi Mkhele.
Gama is known for his long rivalry with Public Enterprises Minister Pravin Gordhan, who fired him immediately after taking the reins at the department.
A leaked Hawks dossier, seen by Independent Media, shows that Gama wrote to executive manager Sihle Mkhwanazi and head of VIP Bongani Sithebe, complaining that he saw Mkhele sprinkling brown powder at the gate of his Bryanston home.
According to the leaked dossier, the Hawks are also investigating Mkhele for Gama’s medication – which was swopped with poisonous pills. The medicine container was usually kept in Gama’s work bag and, according to the dossier, it was a bag that Mkhele might have had access to.
The screenshots seen by The Star show a man with a white shirt sprinkling something next to the gate. The Star could not confirm if the individual was Mkhele but what The Star could confirm from the screenshots in the dossier was a Mercedes-Benz C-Class parked close to the gate. The vehicle was the official car Mkhele used to drive Gama.
In the dossier, a person named Peter Songezo wrote an affidavit providing details of a planned hit on Gama. Mkhele is believed to have been “bewitching” the then chief executive.
The Star understands from sources inside Transnet that after Gama’s complaint, Mkhele was confronted by his bosses at Transnet and resigned with immediate effect to escape an internal hearing that was to commence in December 2017.
Upon investigation of this story, The Star learnt that Mkhele returned to Transnet in November 2019, taking over his previous position. According to Transnet HR policies and disciplinary code, an employee who voluntarily resigns while under investigation cannot be re-employed.
Songezo confirmed to The Star that Mkhele had been re-appointed.
“I don’t know why he came back. Maybe it was a reward. Gama was fighting (former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa chairperson) Popo Molefe. A lot of things happened here. That’s why I’m also a witness,” Songezo said.
The dossier records that on December 6, 2017, one week before the ANC’s elective conference in Nasrec, Gama got a call from a Cabinet minister who asked which horse he was backing. “Are you on our side? We need help with funds,” the caller said.
Last month, Gama drew some attention at the Zondo Commission after Christopher Todd, a labour lawyer from Bowman Gilfillian Attorneys, a legal firm that provided legal services to Transnet, told the commision there was a lot of contention against Gama’s appointment at Transnet.
Gama declined to comment yesterday, but could only say: “This matter is under investigation, as you see. I don’t want to comment. Write about me as you do.”
The Hawks have confirmed that there is an investigation into Gama allegedly being bewitched and “put at risk” by his close protection officer.
After many calls, Mkhele had responded to questions by 8pm last night.