The dignity of the state capture commission has been held up by Zondo's personal approach. Even the most reluctant witness could not gather the rudeness to withdraw.
Lucky Montana. (Alet Pretorius, Netwerk24)
Multimedia · User Galleries · News in Pictures
Send us your pictures · Send us your stories
When the ANC took over the country's rail infrastructure, it quickly became a looting ground for cronies and both Prasa and Transnet are now limping along to the graveyard of failed SOEs, writes Adriaan Basson.
auctioning of 13 locomotives by a shelf company that won a R3.5bn tender from
the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is proof that the ANC's
attempts to modernise rail transport have hit rock-bottom.
African Railways (SAR), that through various iterations became Transnet and
Prasa in a democratic dispensation, was a major creator of jobs and an
Afrikaner middle-class by the illegitimate apartheid regime.
The ANC has
spectacularly failed to use our vast railways network and need for rail
transport – by workers, industrialists and tourists – to create jobs, wealth
and a sustainable rail economy.
in an Afrikaner community, I vividly remember the stories about uncle so-and-so
who worked on the railways and how his family's lives were intimately connected
to the wellbeing of the SAR. From social activities and accommodation to study
bursaries, the SAR created an entire class of people who were proud of their
employer and their work.
When the ANC
took over this infrastructure in 1994, it quickly became a looting ground for
cronies and comrades and in 2019 both Prasa and Transnet are limping along to
the graveyard of failed state-owned enterprises.
2015, journalist Pieter-Louis Myburgh revealed in Rapport that Prasa had
purchased 25 diesel and 45 electric locomotives from an unknown shelf company
called Swifambo Rail Leasing at a cost of R3.5bn.
South Africa has a train-building industry on the East Rand of Johannesburg,
Swifambo subcontracted Vossloh España in Spain to build the locomotives. Red flag
was supposed to ring in a new era of modernisation at Prasa under the
flamboyant and big-spending CEO Lucky Montana. He paid R2.6bn of the purchase
price to Swifambo.
the diesel locomotives were the first batch to arrive, but before they could
hit the rails, Myburgh sprang a huge surprise on the country when he revealed
that the trains were too tall. Not metaphorically, but literally too tall for
our rail infrastructure.
a fuse and among other things, accused Myburgh of being a racist and getting
his facts wrong.
meet the safety standards. We have bought one of the best locomotives in the
world and we are not even apologetic about that… During our testing, the train
passed through tunnels. There is no bridge that was hit. From our side, there
is no story. The hype is focused on other things," Montana said.
Turns out he was lying through his
The locomotives were too tall and are
being auctioned off in September in a desperate attempt by Swifambo to recoup
some of the money they owe Prasa.
In an attempt to uncapture itself from
the Montana years, oversaw by political heads Jeff Radebe, S'bu Ndebele, Ben
Martins, Dipuo Peters and Joe Maswanganyi, the agency has successfully
cancelled the "unlawful" contract through the courts and is now suing
Swifambo – a shelf company with a fax machine – for R2.6bn.
Swifambo's liquidators hope to sell
the 13 locomotives (one was badly damaged during a train crash in the Northern
Cape) for about R300m.
If they are successful and this is the
only money the state is able to recover from Swifambo, Prasa would have lost
R2.3bn with this transaction.
Two fun facts that Myburgh reminds us
of 1) Prasa only paid R1.8bn to Vossloh for the
trains; it kept R800m for itself. 2) After the transaction was clinched,
Swifambo paid R80m to Angolan businesswoman Maria Gomes, a close family friend
of former president Jacob Zuma, and to George Sabelo, an ANC lawyer with links
to Zuma's family. Connect the dots.
Nobody has gone to prison for this
daylight robbery. In the meantime, commuters with Prasa's Metrorail trains hope
and pray for a day when the trains will run on time and be safe, especially for
women, to use without the fear of being robbed or attacked.
- Basson is editor-in-chief of News24.
Volkswagen‘s double cab, the Amarok, is now available in a special edition.
Craig Anderson a lecturer in Statistics answers how likely this is to happen.
You don't even have to break the bank to enjoy a friction-free summer.
Here's how the five best-paid Formula 1 drivers in 2019 justify their earnings.
In case you’re having a bad day.
Automobili Lamborghini celebrated Monterey Car Week with an array of supercars.
The island of Curaçao!
An authentic display of gravitas and empathy.
Somerset WestFinovate PeopleR15 000.00 Per Month Per Month
Cape TownAmazon Development Centre SA (Pty) Ltd
Cape TownTracking Talent
R 1 349 000
R 11 800 000
We subscribe to the Press Code.
You choose what you want
News24 on Android
Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.
Terms and Conditions
24.com Terms and Conditions - Updated April 2012
Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.
This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.