Minister of Transport, Fikile Mbalula says there is nothing untoward about the R3.17 million salary the Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa), paid administrator, Bongisizwe Mpondo, a day before the Western Cape High Court set his secondment aside in August.
Mbalula’s statement came after a report by investigative journalism non-profit amaBhungane, that Mpondo was quickly given a permanent position and back-paid R3.17 million, which included an acting allowance, the day before the High Court set his appointment aside.
Mbalula appointed Mpondo in December to turn the corruption addled rail agency around but the legality of the appointment was challenged by civil society group #UniteBehind, which approached the court to intervene.
In a statement on Sunday, Mbalula said Mpondo’s appointment had been done by the book and he was paid what was due to him.
“The courts have ruled on the matter of his appointment and we have accepted their ruling and have since moved on. It is rather disingenuous for anyone to suggest that Mpondo’s appointment was shrouded in a veil of secrecy,” Mbalula said.
The transport minister added that the date of Mpondo’s salary was not related to the court process and was part of routine negotiations.
“Drawing parallels between the two is absurd and is rejected with the contempt it deserves,” Mbalula concluded.