Montana: “Madonsela’s report baseless”
Axed Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) CEO Lucky Montana has described Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s findings of wide spread financial maladministration against him, as “false” and “baseless”.
In tabling her report, titled Derailed, yesterday, Madonsela indicated that at least six of the 19 claims investigated for maladministration involved Montana, and that remedial action needs to be taken against him by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters.
Speaking in an interview with Radio 702 earlier today, Montana stated that while he admits to having made mistakes while at the helm of the rail parastatal, none of Madonsela’s findings were factual and she cannot view herself as a judge.
“I think all of the allegations, all of the findings the public protector has made, including on the issues that she said I was personally involved, I don't even accept them,” Montana said.
“If someone doesn't agree, the Public Protector may not agree with the way in which PRASA has done certain things but it doesn't mean that the way they've done them is corruption, or is irregular, or is maladministration”.
In a later interview with Power FM, Montana also denied that he and a number of female companions had taken a ride on the Blue Train and then returned aboard a South African Airways flight, adding that he always acted in the best interest of the company.
“I have made mistakes just like anyone else, but I dispute the findings. In real terms there's nothing other than the drama that she has created and I want to demonstrate that in a court of law so that is tested properly,” he said.
Reacting to Madonsela’s report, Democratic Alliance (DA) leader Mmusi Maimane said the findings has become a symbol of the African National Congress (ANC) led government, and that the matter would soon be heard in Parliament.
“The scathing findings by the Public Protector of the improper awarding, extension and appointment of tender contracts to companies and connected individuals by Montana and the PRASA board must be condemned in the strongest terms as this amounted to over R355 million,” Maimane said in a statement.
“We vehemently condemn the fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by the entity due to the GCEO’s improper termination of contracts of Executives resulting in fruitless and wasteful expenditure amounting to an estimated R5.8 million”.
Similarly, ANC Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said swift action must be taken in an attempt to get to the bottom of the matter.
“The report has pointed to extremely concerning and serious allegations against the management of the Agency. We must be totally intolerant to such deviant behaviours and those found guilty of such transgressions must be brought to book,” he said.
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