Prasa: MPs still waiting for answers from R24bn probe a year later

2017-11-24 16:00


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Cape Town – MPs on the Portfolio Committee on Transport are still waiting for the outcomes of a private probe into allegedly dodgy Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) deals worth a combined R24bn – this is despite the report's completion.

Prasa's new interim board appeared before MPs for the first time on Friday, having ditched the committee last week after citing its unreadiness as a reason in a letter.

READ:  Prasa still waiting for overdue state capture probe reports

The new board has only met once since being appointed on October 19, and is still catching up on the major challenges at the struggling entity, interim chairperson Tintswalo Makhubele said.

MPs were visibly anxious to finally be briefed on the long overdue report, compiled by private consultants Werksmans Attorneys, which itself cost R150m to conduct.

This after former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela directed Prasa's then board in August 2015 to institute various investigations into corruption in her report, Derailed.

Former Prasa CEO Collins Letsoalo revealed in November last year that the deals under investigation were worth R24bn.

READOUTA takes on PRASA over locomotive deal

Report to be made available

National Treasury has also conducted its own set of investigations, also at Madonsela's instruction, into more than 100 deals. The results of these investigations are also not available.

"We are not running away from addressing issues that have become known as state capture," Makhubele said in an attempt to assure MPs.

All three reports: from the Public Protector, Treasury and Werksmans, were now available to her, Makhubele said. The new board would hold a special meeting on December 13 to discuss all the findings with all role players, and then make the findings public.

Makhubele committed to making the Werksmans report available to the committee before the board met on December 13.

Another interim board member, transport expert Professor John Maluleke, said Prasa's HR subcommittee was also undergoing a skills audit to ensure the right people were in the right positions at Prasa.

The subcommittee will have its first meeting on November 27.

Fruitless expenditure?

Chairperson of the portfolio committee Dikeledi Magadzi said the committee would resubmit its questions on the various probes to the new interim board.

ANC MP Leonard Ramatlakane suggested calling in the three entities who had conducted investigations so the committee can finally get the answers it has been waiting for.

MPs wanted to see whether the R150m spent to compile the Werksmans report was fruitless and wasteful expenditure or not.

Acting Prasa CEO Lindikhaya Zide assured MPs that no new deals were signed between August 1 and October 19 while the entity was without a board.

READ:  Peters irrational when she removed Prasa board - Court

The National Assembly goes on recess on November 30.

Read more on:    prasa  |  cape town  |  judiciary

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