Carol Paton Writer at Large
Siyabonga Gama. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Siyabonga Gama. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama and several other top executives have been given an extension until next week Tuesday to provide reasons to the board for why they should not be suspended, chairman Popo Molefe said on Wednesday.

The new board headed by Molefe has been in place for 11 weeks.

Among the first things the board did was to issue Gama and two other executives, chief financial officer Thamsanqa Jiyane and supply chain manager Lindiwe Mdletshe, letters warning them of their pending suspensions. The three are implicated in a raft of reports on mismanagement and corruption at Transnet.

Molefe said the executives had asked for extra time and the board had agreed.

However, prior to these letters being issued, parliament’s portfolio committee on public enterprises had invited both the board and executives to brief it on progress made in internal investigations of corruption.

But when Gama began his presentation to the committee on Wednesday, MPs from both the ANC and DA objected to him reporting on matters in which he was implicated.

After a brief caucus by the ANC, it was agreed the presentations on corruption would not go ahead. Committee chairperson Lungi Mnganga-Gcabashe confirmed, though, that the committee had invited the executives.

Asked afterwards why she had not cancelled the briefing in the light of the pending suspensions of the executives, Mnganga-Gcabashe said she could not rely on what she had read in the media and needed to hear it from Molefe in person before she could withdraw the invitation to Gama.