Parliamentary vote to dismiss Prasa board was unanimous, court hears

2017-03-17 20:10
Prasa. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Prasa. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Pretoria - The parliamentary portfolio committee on transport unanimously voted for the dismissal of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) board, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria heard on Friday.

This after former Prasa board chairperson Popo Molefe and other executives brought an urgent application challenging the minister's decision to dissolve the board, which she announced on March 8.

Advocate Etienne Labuschagne, representing the Minister of Transport Dipuo Peters, said all political parties within the portfolio committee on transport agreed that the board should be dissolved.

Labuschagne argued that the minister's relationship with the board was irreparable.

"For the board to suggest she has an ulterior motive and to ask for personal costs against her and then suggest to be reinstated is simply too much."

He argued that Peters had conveyed her dissatisfaction with the board to Parliament long before the Sunday Times report that former Prasa acting group CEO Collins Letsoalo had hiked his salary by 350%.

Minister 'not being fair'

Representing the board, Advocate David Unterhalter argued that Peters did not relay her concerns to the board.

"She should have written a letter to the board and asked for reasons why not to dissolve the board but she did not do this. She instead deals with public spats and Letsoalo's removal specifically. She doesn't refer to anything else," he said.

Unterhalter argued that the board, independent of Letsoalo, had developed a turnaround strategy for Prasa.

"It's just a blatant case of a minister who is not being fair," he added.

He argued that the matter should be considered as urgent by the courts because the board's term would end in July.

Unterhalter told the court that there was no reason the board would not work with Peters.

"The board can work with the minister. There is no reason why it should not be a working relationship."

'Blatant unlawful conduct'

Molefe's founding affidavit, filed on Saturday, said the decision to remove the board members and the notices of removal are "plainly unlawful and must be set aside" to prevent irremediable damage, uphold legality and vindicate public interest.

Peters' "blatant unlawful conduct and failure to reverse course or engage with the applicants timeously" warranted a punitive costs order, Molefe's court papers read.

Molefe sat in the front row in court listening attentively to arguments on Friday.

During intervals, he engaged with journalists and legal representatives.

Judge Peter Mabuse reserved judgment.

Read more on:    prasa  |  dipuo peters  |  pretoria  |  judiciary

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Partner Content
How data is changing investments

Technological disruption is rife in many spheres of business and given the quantity of data available, it’s no surprise that the way in which asset managers work is also changing fast.

Behind the sparkle

Alluring, beautiful and timeless - diamonds are some of the most sought after gems in the world and are a true testament of everlasting brilliance. Let us take you behind the sparkle to show you the history behind this coveted jewel.


How to get rid of fleas

Before you call in the pricey exterminators, try this DIY approach that promises to get your flea problem under control.



12 Cool cat facts
Chocolate can be fatal for dogs
Spider-man star's adorable relationship with his dog
Do you know what you are feeding your dog?
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.