Lawyers: Gama will be trespassing if he reports for work
Lawyers also advise axed Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama to inform chairman Popo Molefe that the termination of his contract is unlawful
Axed Transnet CEO Siyabonga Gama will be "trespassing" if he reports for work on Tuesday and the company would be within its rights to then call the law enforcement agencies, a lawyer for the state-owned enterprise says.
But a defiant Gama said in a letter to the board that he would "continue to report to work as normal", and also head to court to rescind the termination of his contract.
Gama was fired from the state-owned enterprise (SOE) on Sunday and told that his final day at work would be Monday, October 22.
His axing came 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.
Gama’s removal on Sunday came 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.
The embattled CEO’s lawyer Nano Matlala, however, said he had advised Gama to inform Transnet chairman Popo Molefe that the termination of his employment contract was unlawful, and that he should continue to report for work.
He said Gama did report for work on Monday.
Nkosenhle Mzinyathi, of Mncedisi Ndlovu & Sedumedi Attorneys, for Transnet, confirmed that Gama had arrived at work, but said he would not be allowed to do so on Tuesday.
"We have advised our clients that if he comes to work [on Tuesday] he’s trespassing and they will be well within their rights then to refer it to law enforcement agencies, who will then take it from there," Mzinyathi said.
He said Gama had written to the Transnet board chairman informing him that he rejected the termination of his contract.
In a copy of the letter, seen by Business Day, Gama demanded that the board rescind the termination of his contract as well as "utterances" made in the media regarding this, as it was contempt of court. Gama was informed on Sunday that his employment contract with the company was terminated, with six months’ notice.
The board told Gama that he was required to collect his belongings and return Transnet’s belongings, which include an iPad, cellphone, laptop and access keys.
Gama’s lawyers are in the process of drawing up court papers and will approach the labour court in Johannesburg to fight his dismissal.