Transnet chair Dr Popo Molefe announced on Sunday that CEO Siyabonga Gama has been fired.
Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama had been granted ten days from 27 October to submit written representations as to why he should not be fired, after he was linked to the controversial locomotives tender that saw Gupta-linked enriched to the value of more than R5 billion.
In a media statement at the time, the Transnet board said:
“The reasons provided to him by the Board relate to alleged serious violations of his financial, procurement and fiduciary responsibilities as Transnet GCEO. As a result, the Board had lost trust and confidence in Mr. Gama’s ability to lead Transnet as GCEO.”
Instead of submitting his written representations, Gama approached the Labour Court to interdict his dismissal.
Labour Court Judge Graham Moshoana on Friday ordered that the the matter go to arbitration, and Gama gave Transnet a deadline of Wednesday to agree on an appropriate arbitration process.
“I have no choice but to approach the labour court to stop Transnet from terminating my employment contract in breach of its terms and provisions. We have today succeeded in persuading Transnet that they must abide by my employment contract and the Transnet disciplinary code in my case, and that the parties must refer any dispute to an arbitrator.”
However, Transnet went ahead with the delivery of a letter of dismissal, after a vote late on Friday night.
Transnet says that Friday’s Labour Court ruling did not address the board’s right to terminate Gama’s contract.
Says Transnet board member Edward Kieswetter:
"What is required is that the board will give Mr Gama the reasons for its decision and the reasons are illustrated as a loss of confidence. The incumbent then has the right to make a representation to the board.”