Johannesburg – The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Wednesday heard that former president Jacob Zuma’s office demanded state-owned freight, rail and logistics company Transnet settle an R8 million lawsuit for goods not delivered.
Siyabulela Mapoma, former general manager: group legal services at Transnet Group Capital, told the inquiry headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo that a plaintiff whose name he could not immediately recall launched a lawsuit of over R8m against the company claiming to have delivered wheels to Transnet Rail Engineering.
”We defended this claim at the time, we briefed Advocate (Terry) Motau and we investigated and found out that no wheels were ever delivered,” Mapoma said.
“The plaintiff at the time was insisting that he must be paid and laid complaints up to the Presidency and the Presidency wrote us a letter which I had to answer.”
According to Mapoma, Zuma’s office sent a letter asking why Transnet was not settling the matter.
He said the plaintiff withdrew the matter at the South Gauteng High Court on the morning of the trial.
”To me there was nothing new in queries coming from the Presidency about what Transnet was doing,” explained Mapoma, who joined Transnet in 2007.
Zondo asked: “Do you remember who the plaintiff was in this matter?”
Mapoma responded: “I can find out chair because I know the specifics of the particulars of claim at the time but I have forgotten the name.”
Earlier, Mapoma, who was among the candidates for the position of National Director of Public Prosecutions in 2018, told the commission he was now an advocate in private practice and a member of the Bhisho Society of Advocates and Mthatha Bar of Advocates.
Mapoma’s evidence continues.