Former Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama faced a grilling at the State Capture Commission on Thursday over his generous settlement of R17 million for his reinstatement.
Gama defended himself putting it down to his good negotiating skills.
He was reinstated as the CEO of Transnet Freight Rail after having been fired following serious misconduct claims including signing a multi-million rand contract without reading it and insulting a colleague.
Gama admitted to the charges but was reinstated on the basis that the misconducts were not intentional and the process to discipline him was not properly conducted.
“This was part of the negotiation, that is why they took longer. You know negotiation is a give and take, we negotiated a lot of things and that’s what we came to. If you think my negotiation skills were good that’s fine, but we negotiated,” adds Gama.
Gama’s visits to Gupta residence
He told the State Capture Commission that he ended up at the Gupta’s address when he thought he was going to meet Salim Essa at his office.
He says he was not aware that the meeting was going to take place at the Gupta residence.
According to Gama, he would not have agreed to the invite by Essa if he knew that the meeting was to take place at a private home.
Gama says at the meeting, he was introduced to one of the brothers, Tony Gupta.
“I was a bit annoyed because I thought I am going to meet Essa at his offices and then I realised we are at the board room of their residence. If they told me I was going to somebody’s home, I wouldn’t have agreed,” he explains.
The Commission hears Transnet related evidence from Siyabonga Gama: