Former Transnet Group chief executive Siyabonga Gama has denied allegations against him that he was an “architect of state capture”. Gama is giving evidence at the State Capture Inquiry in Johannesburg. His last appearance was in March, where he spoke about how he was lured to the Gupta Saxonwold family compound.
At his last appearance, he told Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that he was “ambushed” by Gupta associate Salim Essa into attending a meeting with Tony Gupta at their Saxonwold residence.
Earlier on Monday, Gama refuted allegations made by Transnet’s former board chairperson, Popo Molefe, that he was an architect of state capture and that then Public Enterprises Minister Malusi Gigaba influenced his appointment.
In reading the balance of his opening statement, Gama said some of the witnesses brought before the commission were spreading a narrative about him that was not true.
“According to Molefe, my appointment was due to the influence of Gigaba. This allegation I believe has been purposed to fit the state capture narrative. I have worked through the ranks and was appointed as CEO through hard work and dedication.
“Mr Gigaba was appointed as Public Enterprise minister in 2010, at that time I had already worked for Transnet for more than 16 years,” Gama told the commission.
The commission will continue hearing evidence from Gama after lunch. The estranged wife of former minister Malusi Gigaba, Norma Mngoma, is expected to testify later on Monday afternoon.
Mngoma’s testimony was initially scheduled to take place earlier this month, but she pulled out of the proceedings at the last minute. Her lawyers told Deputy Zondo that she was unwilling to continue assisting the commission by testifying.
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