TRANSNET TO FIRE GAMA

TRANSNET will move to fire freight rail chief Siyabonga Gama after he was found guilty of a serious breach of governance requirements, Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan indicated yesterday.

TRANSNET will move to fire freight rail chief Siyabonga Gama after he was found guilty of a serious breach of governance requirements, Public Enterprises Minister Barbara Hogan indicated yesterday.

"Transnet will motivate for dismissal as the appropriate sanction. However, that issue will be finally decided by the respective appointed presiding officers," Hogan said in reply to a parliamentary question from Cope.

The minister further said sanctions would be imposed on the Transnet board under the Public Finance Management Act, if the Gama inquiry showed it had failed to comply with section 51 of the Act.

It stipulates that the board of a public entity must ensure it maintains an appropriate procurement system.

Transnet announced on June 5 that Gama was found guilty of a serious breach of governance requirements in relation to two procurement contracts.

Company spokesperson John Dludlu said a detailed 200-page finding pronounced Gama guilty on each of the charges brought against him, including one of irretrievable breakdown in his relationship with Transnet.

Gama was suspended last year to face charges related to the allocation of a contract to refurbish 50 locomotives to Sibanye Trade Services, which allegedly lacks the necessary experience in the field.

He also awarded a contract worth nearly R19million to a security firm with alleged links to Communications Minister Siphiwe Nyanda.

Gama, who last year launched a highly politicised but doomed bid to become Transnet group chief executive, only had authority to sign off on contracts worth up to R10million.

His lawyer, Themba Langa, was quoted in City Pressat the weekend as saying Gama intended to fight for his job.

"We are going to fight for non-dismissal because we believe that what he has been found guilty of should not lead to a dismissal. It is relevant to note that during his five-year tenure as TFR's (Transnet Freight Rail) chief executive, Gama concluded thousands of agreements and contracts yet he has been found guilty of a single agreement involving R18million.

"This is minute for a chief executive of a company with a yearly turnover of R20billion," Langa was quoted as saying. - Sapa

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