Prasa drama deepens

2018-02-11 05:49
Prasa. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Prasa. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Controversy surrounds a multimillion-rand deal signed by the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) as accusations fly among senior managers about who approved it.

City Press reported last month that Prasa acting group chief Cromet Molepo allegedly disregarded advice from Treasury not to deviate from tender processes, but instead went ahead and hired locomotives from Premifield during the festive season to run its Shosholoza Meyl service.

At the time Prasa spokesperson Nana Zenani said it was former acting chief Lindikaya Zide who approved the deal.

But this week Zide denied Zenani’s allegations saying: “I had nothing to do with it.”

Zide said Prasa acting chief procurement officer Peter Malele went behind his back and wrote to Treasury on December 5 last year seeking permission on behalf of the Mainline Passenger Services to deviate from normal procurement processes.

Zide said he was gone by the time the deal went through.

City Press obtained a memo written by Mainline Passenger Services executive manager Mthuthuzeli Swartz on December 14 last year asking Molepo to approve the “emergency hiring of locomotives” for the December holiday period.

Molepo responded: “Proceed immediately with the procurement process to ensure stability of our service.”

The cost of hiring 10 locomotives for 45 days was R15.7m.

Asked why Zenani fingered him as the one who approved the deal, Zide said: “I can only speculate. I don’t want to come to any conclusions. I don’t know whether the company thinks I’m stupid.”

Zide said that during his tenure, he had questioned the need to hire locomotives while there was a normal procurement process under way.

“These guys went behind my back,” Zide said.

When approached, Zenani declined to comment.

“I speak on behalf of Prasa,” she said.

Read more on:    prasa

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