Axed CEO Letsoalo refused to discuss pay - Prasa board member

Prasa. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)
Prasa. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

Cape Town - The board of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) reiterated on Wednesday that it has never taken a resolution on the R5.9m salary package of former Prasa CEO Collins Letsoale.

After a shaky start to the briefing at the portfolio committee on transport, Prasa board member Tefetso Phitsane told MPs a CEO’s salary needs to be approved by the board.

READ: Sparks fly at Prasa parly briefing

“Has the board taken a resolution on his salary package? No, we haven’t,” Phitsane said.

Letsoalo had previously insisted that he inquired what salary he was entitled to and was sent the remuneration package of former axed CEO Lucky Montana.

Phitsane, however, disputed Letsoalo’s assertion, saying that Montana’s salary package had been “an issue” raised in former public protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on irregularities at Prasa.

“The salary that was used for Montana was a questionable one,” Phitsane said.

He added that Letsoalo had never sat down with the board to discuss his salary package.

READ: Prasa board dismisses acting CEO after salary scandal 

“He refused to sit down with us to finalise the salary issue. We referred the matter to the Minister (of Transport Dipuo Peters) who said she’d investigate the matter. She never did. I personally said I won’t entertain it and I left it there.”

Only later the Prasa board became aware of a memorandum, saying that the Board had agreed to remunerate Letsoale at a rate of R5.986m per annum, Phitsane said.

“And then I said there’s no such resolution.” 

READ: I am entitled to R5.9m - acting Prasa CEO

Peters was not at the briefing.

Earlier on Wednesday, Manny de Freitas, DA MP and member of the portfolio committee on transport raised the point that it was concerning that Minister Peters was not attending the meeting.

"She excused herself yesterday, saying she was ill, but yet she attended the plenary in the National Assembly in the afternoon," De Freitas said. 

"The Minister is an integral part of this whole thing. This committee has been lied to by the Minister. She needs to explain why she’s not here today."

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