Letsoalo denied request to join Prasa board's case

2017-03-17 14:11
Collins Letsoalo. (File)

Collins Letsoalo. (File)

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Pretoria - Former Prasa group CEO Collins Letsoalo's request to join the urgent court case by Prasa's former board members was denied by the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Friday.

Judge Peter Mabuse said he was not persuaded by Letsoalo's case and refused his application.

He had made an urgent request to join the former Prasa board's urgent application to have their dismissal by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters set aside.

Former Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) board chairperson Popo Molefe and other executives brought an urgent application challenging the minister's decision, which she announced on March 8.

William Mokhari, SC, for Letsoalo, said his client was working to clear himself of allegations the board had made in their affidavits, that Peters was protecting him and that he had increased his salary by 350%.

Defamation suit

Mokhari said that in Molefe's founding affidavit he set out how Letsoalo increased his salary without the board's approval.

"It's incumbent upon Letsoalo to debunk that myth," Mokhari argued.

His addition as a third respondent would be in the interests of justice and not prejudice the case.

David Unterhalter, SC, for Molefe, argued that Letsoalo would not add value to the case and that he was seeking no relief from the board.

If he wanted to argue that the board had tarnished his reputation in its affidavits, he could explore other avenues, including suing for defamation.

The Sunday Times reported in February that during October 2016, Letsoalo increased his salary from R1.7m to R5.9m per annum. He was appointed in July 2016.

Letsoalo told reporters on February 27 that he would not have accepted his appointment had he been offered R1.7m, which he earned as Road Traffic Management Corporation CEO.

On the same day, the Prasa board voted unanimously to remove him. Prasa's corporate secretary Lindikaya Zide was appointed interim CEO.

On March 8, Parliament's transport committee decided to establish an ad hoc committee to investigate Prasa.

"As things are now, there is no sense that the board is in control of anything. It does not seem that there are controls at the entity to ensure good governance in line with legislation. That said, the committee is of the view that the entity could still be saved," committee chairperson Dikeledi Magadzi said at the time, Fin24 reported.

Read more on:    prasa  |  judiciary

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