Transnet axes CEO Siyabonga Gama

Siyabonga Gama has been dismissed as chief executive of state freight and ports company Transnet.

In September, Transnet had given Gama 10 days to explain why he should not be sacked after being implicated in the findings of reports by Mncedisi Ndlovu & Sedumedi Attorneys and Fundudzi Forensic Investigators into the awarding of a contract that ballooned from R38.6-billion to R54.5-billion to China South Rail for 1 064 locomotives.

According to Business Day, Transnet board chair Popo Molefe informed Gama, in the notice of termination, that he had failed to make representations on why he should not be fired by the deadline. The letter reportedly notes that Gama has been given six months notice but that he will be paid out for these months instead of reporting for duty.

In the wake of the allegations of misconduct and maladministration, Gama and two other officials – chief procurement officer Thamsanqa Jiyane and supply chain manager Lindiwe Mdletshe – had been given notices of precautionary suspension in August.

READ MORE: Transnet CEO Gama, two other officials suspended

At the time, the company issued a statement saying Gama had been issued with a letter expressing the intention to terminate his employment because of his “alleged serious violations of his financial, procurement and fiduciary responsibilities” and because the board had “lost trust and confidence” in Gama’s “ability to lead Transnet”.

Last week, Gama had approached the labour court in an urgent bid to stop Transnet from terminating his contract but the court ordered that the application be transferred to arbitration between parties.

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