Montana ousting: Prasa to reveal if all is on track

Lucky Montana (File)
Lucky Montana (File)

Pretoria - The board of the Passenger Railway Agency of SA (Prasa) will hold a media briefing on Friday during which it is expected to shed some light on several issues, including the reasons behind the axing of its CEO Lucky Montana.

Prasa on Thursday announced that Montana had been dismissed with immediate effect and its current chief of operations, Nathi Khena, would take over Montana's duties until a suitable replacement was found.

A statement released by Prasa on Thursday did not reveal any details about why Montana was fired.

Montana's removal comes amid heat on Prasa, following allegations that the state-owned entity had put billions into new diesel locomotives which allegedly did not conform to SA rail line standards.

It was, however, unclear whether Montana's dismissal had anything to do with the new locomotives.

Meanwhile, Eyewitness News reported that Montana said his dismissal was no surprise.

He told EWN he had expected it for quite a while, and that for a period of eight months he'd been having a running battle with the board and the chairperson of the board.

Autopax

Besides holding the title of Prasa COO, Khena, who now takes over from Montana, is also the acting CEO of bus operator, Autopax.

He has also found himself doing damage control in the last few weeks after Autopax took over from Putco when it decided to stop operations in Tshwane, Sedibeng and Ekurhuleni.

After cancelling contracts in the three areas, Putco took Autopax to court, insisting that Autopax absorb its staff, which would otherwise be left unemployed.

The application was however dismissed by the Labour Court.

Ironically, Khena was the managing director of Putco in the early 2000s.

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