Former PRASA boss denies benefitting from “illegal tenders”

FEBRUARY 8, 2016

Axed Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) CEO, Lucky Montana, has reportedly denounced allegations that he benefitted from so-called unlawful contracts while at the helm of the rail parastatal.

Addressing the media in Johannesburg on Monday, Montana, who was fired as PRASA boss in July last year for illegally awarding tenders, said he had done nothing wrong, before accusing Chairperson Popo Molefe of also having been involved in “shady deals”.

On Sunday, CityPress revealed it has obtained court papers showing contracts, worth R1.95-billion and R2.1 billion, were awarded to Siyangena Technologies in 2011 and 2014, for the installation of CCTV cameras and access control systems at a number of train stations.

In his affidavit, Molefe stated that the awarding of the contracts were unlawful as Siyangena were given the opportunity of bid-rigging, which, coupled with supposed “corrupt activities”, resulted in Montana drawing illegal benefit from the deal.

According to the paper, the documents also showed that a lawyer representing Siyangena, bought a house in Johannesburg owned by Montana for double the market value, and that R7.5-million was paid for a further property in Pretoria by a shelf company used by the lawyer, only after Montana had paid a deposit of R3.5-million himself.

Montana has however stated that there was nothing illegal about the deal, and that the allegations were attempts by Molefe to discredit him and cancel the deal with Siyangena, who are reportedly still owed millions by PRASA.

In tabling her “Derailed” report on Montana in August last year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela identified 19 possible cases of financial administration against him, and that swift remedial action needed to be taken by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters.

Montana however described the report as “baseless”, and that Madonsela could not view herself as a judge.