Siyabonga Gama. Picture: BUSINESS DAY
Siyabonga Gama. Picture: BUSINESS DAY

Axed Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama reported for work at the state-owned freight and rail company on Monday, his lawyer said.

Gama was informed on Sunday that his employment contract with the company was terminated, with six months' notice.

The Transnet board told Gama in the letter that his last working day would be Monday October 22, and that he was required to collect his belongings and return the state-owned enterprise's (SOE’s) belongings, which include an iPad, cellphone, laptop and access keys.

His lawyer, Nano Matlala of MSMM, said Gama had reported for work on Monday. It is not clear whether Gama was forced to return company property as stated in the letter of termination.

His lawyers are in the process of drawing up court papers and will approach the labour court in Johannesburg to fight his dismissal.

The Transnet board had not yet responded to requests for comment. 

On Sunday, Matlala said he had advised Gama to write to the chair of the Transnet board, informing him that the decision to terminate his contract was "unlawful and null and void", and that Gama should report for work. 

Gama’s removal comes after several new board members were appointed at Transnet in May as part of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s drive to root out corruption at SOEs.

He has been in the line of fire after investigations found that he, former CEO Brian Molefe and Gupta associates may have acted unlawfully in relation to the purchase of 1,064 locomotives for R54bn. Leaked Gupta e-mails contain claims that the Gupta family received multibillion-rand kickbacks as part of the purchase.

Last week, the labour court ordered that the dispute between Gama and Transnet be referred to arbitration. However, the board took a "round robin" resolution to terminate his contract.

Gama's lawyers are arguing that this is going against the court ruling and that the Transnet board is in contempt of court.