/ 27 May 2022

Former Transnet chief executive Siyabonga Gama and others granted bail

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Former Transnet chief executive Siyabonga Gama. (Photo by Luba Lesolle/Gallo Images via Getty Images)

Former Transnet chief executive Siyabonga Gama’s bail was set at R50 000 after appearing before the Palm Ridge magistrate’s court following his arrest at Brackendown police station on 27 May.

The former Transnet group chief executive said in his bail application that he had “no intention to evade justice” and has no previous convictions. His defence attorney read out his affidavit and quoted Gama saying, “I can’t afford to be a fugitive of justice.” 

State prosecutor Themebela Bakamela did not oppose bail. He said the defendants were being accused of laundering R93-million during the time they were affiliated with Transnet. 

Gama, alongside Regiment’s founding partner Eric Wood, former Transnet chief financial officer Garry Pita, former Transnet treasurer Phetolo Ramosebudi and Trillian Asset Management director Daniel Roy, submitted their application for bail after handing themselves over to the police earlier that morning. Co-accused Kuben Moodley was arrested in September 2021. They are being charged with contravention of the Public Finance Management Act, money laundering and fraud. 

Their arrest comes after the second part of Chief Justice Raymond Zondo’s report on state capture, which was handed to President Cyril Ramaphosa in February 2022, recommended that Gama, Woods, Pita, Ramosebudi, Roy and others associated with the alleged corruption should face criminal prosecution. 

Making his argument for bail, Gama said he has always complied with the law, which is proven by his appearance before the Zondo commission of inquiry in April 2021.

The Mail and Guardian previously reported that Gama was fired from Transnet in 2018 after allegations of misconduct and maladministration. A forensic report compiled by Mncedisi Ndlovu & Sedumedi Attorneys together with Fundudzi Forensic Investigators alleged that Gama was involved in the corrupt awarding of a contract to China South Rail amounting to more than R50-billion for 1064 locomotives. 

Along with Gama, Pita and Roy were granted bail at R50 0000. Woods was released on R250 000 bail and Ramosebudi’s bail was set at R25 000.

Magistrate Brain Neavhidi accepted the prosecution’s request to postpone the matter until 13 July for the state to arrest the seventh accused in the matter.