Former Prasa group CEO a corruption fighter - Dipuo Peters

2017-03-13 15:46
Collins Letsoalo. (File)

Collins Letsoalo. (File)

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Pretoria - Transport Minister Dipuo Peters has placed her confidence in former Prasa acting CEO Collins Letsoalo, but questioned former board chairperson Popo Molefe's claim of being a corruption buster.

Speaking to journalists on Monday, Peters said she had worked with Letsaolo and had confidence in him as a corruption buster, but didn't have the same faith in Molefe.

"When we brought in Letsaolo, there was an agreement with the board and the board felt it was a good move. I cannot vouch for him in a personal matter, but when Mr Letsaolo says he fights corruption, I have worked with him in the department and dealt with many cases."

However, she did not display the same confidence in Molefe, inferring that the investigations which the former board chairperson was claiming as one of his achievements, predated him.

Also read: Prasa board spent public money willy-nilly - Peters

"On Molefe being a corruption buster, it is important that we take note that there has been investigations that even predates this former board that continued under them as revealed on report by Public Protector."

Molefe filed an urgent application to the South Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg to have the decision to dissolve the board of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa by Peters set aside during the weekend.

Molefe, along with the other fired directors of Prasa, has approached the court to review or declare the board's dissolution unlawful, reinstate them to their former positions, and prevent an interim board from being appointed.

In it, Molefe said investigation into Prasa has, to date, uncovered the true extent of fruitless, wasteful and irregular expenditure at Prasa totalling at least approximately R14bn.

Salary hike

Molefe said the board had previously voted in August to terminate Letsoalo's appointment at the end of 2016, when Peters informed them that his term was to be extended to April 2017 until a permanent CEO was appointed.  

The board, however, opposed this, but the minister refused to engage with them on this, Molefe claimed.

Following a Sunday Times report on Letsoalo's massive salary hike, Letsoalo decided to hold a press briefing, despite Molefe telling him not to.

The board unanimously voted to fire him, sending him a termination letter on February 27.

The Prasa board unanimously voted to dismiss Letsoalo after the Sunday Times revealed that he allegedly increased his salary from R1.7m to R5.9m per annum in October.

Lestaolo accused the board members of lying, and said they had known of each and every step taken ahead of his appointment, including the salary scale.

But the board disputed this, with board member Tefetso Phitsane telling the committee that Letsoalo had demanded to be paid what former CEO Lucky Montana had earned, which amounted to R5.9m.

He had threatened them and had said he would view it as insubordination if his request was not granted, Phitsane said.

Read more on:    prasa  |  collins letsoalo  |  dipuo peters  |  corruption
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