PRASA report: Damning evidence points to axed CEO

BY CHARL BOSCH - AUGUST 24, 2015

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has indicated that remedial action needs to be taken against former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) CEO, Lucky Montana, following her tabling of widespread financial irregularities against the embattled rail provider earlier today.

The report, titled Derailed, listed at least 32 complaints investigated with 19 being identified as amounting to financial maladministration while Montana, who was fired last month for breaching a pre-arranged agreement not to sign tenders, was at the helm.

These include:

1. The awarding of a R1.9-billion tender to install high speed gates at the Doornfontein and Nasrec train stations even though its scope violated PRASA’s own policy.

2. Montana’s awarding of a R256-million tender to Siemens for the installation of Dark fibre and communications system that went beyond the boundaries of Gauteng where it was advertised.

3. The unlawful termination of a cleaning contract with at least seven cleaning companies in favour of one with only two providers as called for by Montana.

4. The awarding of a R3.7-million tender by PRASA’s Chris Moloi to a security firm without the correct processes being followed.

5. Montana’s contracting of a media firm to print PRASA’s Hambanathi Magazine on a three year worth R16.7-million, and then opting to lengthen it by three more years despite being aware of maladministration charges against it.

6.  Montana appointing a consulting firm on a deal worth R2-million

7. His improper firing of five executives between 2008 and 2013, as well as the suspension of seven employees resulting in a loss of R2-million in wages.

8. Paying rent on a building vacated 10 months before the contract expired, again at Montana’s behest.

9. Awarding a R3.8-million tender for the further developing of a section at Park Station in Johannesburg, to a company with links to a PRASA board member.

“The minister of Transport [Dipuo Peters] [is] to ensure that the PRASA board considers the acts of maladministration and improper conduct referred to in this report and take appropriate disciplinary [action] against the officials of PRASA in respect of their conduct referred to therein,” Madonsela concluded her findings, contained a 550 page document.

 

- additional reporting by eNCA and News24

 

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