Prasa board spent public money willy-nilly - Peters

2017-03-13 14:55
Minister Dipuo Peters. (AFP, file)

Minister Dipuo Peters. (AFP, file)

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Pretoria - Prasa's former board racked up irregular expenditure of R127m on an investigation into maladministration and corruption at the agency, Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said on Monday.

She criticised the board, which she dissolved last week, for allowing public money to be spent willy-nilly.

"I expressed my concern over the long and protracted investigation by Werksmans Attorneys. My concern was that the investigation seemed endless and without a clear scope and a specific objective," she told reporters in Pretoria.

The cost of the investigation was initially reported to be about R80m, but was presently R127m.

She said the former board had failed to determine a deadline and a budget for the investigation.

Her department had written to the board to demand that it manage the irregular expenditure.

READ: Minister defends 'expertise' of Prasa interim board members

Investigations will continue

The board, with Peters' approval, instituted a forensic investigation into Prasa. This followed former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's damning report, titled Derailed, which she released in August 2015.

She found widespread evidence of maladministration, improper conduct, and nepotism at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa.

She instructed Prasa and the National Treasury to investigate all Prasa contracts valued above R10m.

Peters denied former Prasa chairperson Popo Molefe's claims that the board was dissolved to frustrate its investigations. The investigation would continue, she said.

"The historical information is there. The management of Prasa is still in place. The acting group CEO is also the company secretary, so the institutional memory is there. There is no jeopardising or prejudice the investigation will suffer as a result of this intervention," she said.

On Saturday, Molefe filed an urgent application to the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg to have the decision to dissolve the Prasa board set aside.

Molefe and the other sacked Prasa directors want the court to declare the board's dissolution unlawful, reinstate them, and prevent an interim board from being appointed.

Read more on:    prasa  |  dipuo peters  |  corruption

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