Judgment in case to make NPA, Hawks probe Prasa expected soon

Cape Town – Civil rights body OUTA's case against the Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa) in the North Gauteng High Court is slated for a ruling on Friday, the civil society organisation said in a statement this week.

The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse appeared in court on Wednesday to present its case for intervening in a court matter. The organisation sought to have the court compel the Directorate for Priority Criminal Investigation and the National Prosecuting Authority to investigate corruption at Prasa.

In the 2016/17 financial year Prasa had the worst audit outcomes of any state-owned entity or department from the office of Auditor General Kimi Makwetu. So expansive was the alleged rout at Prasa, that the agency had to pay Werksmans Attorneys R148m to probe it.

OUTA’s head of legal Stefani Fick said both Prasa and the Hawks made representations of their arguments to the court. The court postponed the matter to Friday 4 May for judgment.

“We are looking forward to the outcome as our case... this matter was well researched and received very little opposition,” said Fick.

In a statement, OUTA said it applied to intervene in a case brought by Prasa chair Popo Molefe against the Hawks and NPA. The case was aimed at forcing the law-enforcement institutions to investigate corruption within Prasa.

“Investigations by the Public Protector and the Prasa board found substantial problems with contracts awarded by then CEO Lucky Montana. Montana spent close to R5.4bn of taxpayers' money from 2009 to 2013 on contracts handed to the Siyangena and Swifambo companies,” said the statement.

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