Popo Molefe: Prasa has started cleaning-up process

Pretoria - Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) board chairperson Popo Molefe said on Thursday the board of Prasa is impelled to take the "necessary measures" about the irregularities listed in the public protector's report.

At last month's release of the findings of her report entitled 'Derailed' into maladministration at the state-owned enterprise, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said she had received 32 complaints against Prasa. Most of them involved maladministration relating to tenders totalling R2.8bn.

Madonsela found 19 complaints were substantiated. Another three would be the subject of future reports.

Axed CEO Lucky Montana was widely implicated in Madonsela’s report, which followed an investigation after the SA Transport and Allied Workers Union in 2012 reported allegations of corruption and tender irregularities at Prasa.

According to the report, the complaints were principally levelled against Prasa management and Montana.

Molefe said on Thursday the board has already begun addressing the report's findings, and has committed itself to cooperating with the second part of the public protector's report.

He said the Prasa board has directed management to strengthen supply chain management structures and to find an experienced chief procurement officer.

He also said Prasa is considering legal steps regarding some of the remedial action recommended by the public protector. "We will deal with some of the employees implicated in irregularities and wasteful expenditure," he told a media briefing in Pretoria.

This is all part of the "cleaning-up process" the board has begun to enhance good corporate governance at Prasa.

According to Molefe, the board has told management to suspend questionable contracts.

He said Prasa's internal audit was instructed in April 2015 to review all payments over R10m made from April 1, 2014.

Molefe said Prasa will begin an academic qualifications verification audit, which will be conducted by the SA Qualifications Authority.

On the passenger rail system, Molefe said Prasa remains committed to ensuring the rollout of a modern passenger rail system.

"This organisation is on track. It is doing its work."

Acting Prasa CEO Nathi Khena and chairperson Popo Molefe at the briefing in Pretoria on Thursday. (Photo: Thomas Hartleb)

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