Prasa 'engineer' charged with fraud, uttering

Jenni Evans

Johannesburg - Prasa's head of engineering services Daniel Mthimkhulu appeared in the Johannesburg Magistrate's court on Wednesday on a charge of fraud and uttering relating to his qualification, the National Prosecuting Authority in Gauteng said.

Uttering is the crime of using a forged document and is usually associated with the circulation of fake bank notes.

He was released on R20 000 bail and has to return to court on August 25, NPA Gauteng spokesperson Phindi Louw told News24.

Mthimkhulu's qualification became an issue following a report in Afrikaans language newspaper Rapport that new trains ordered by the country from Spain were too high for South African rail infrastructure.

He has since resigned from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa, shortly after Prasa CEO Lucky Montana's dismissal from the state-owned entity.

Before his resignation, Mthimkhulu was supposed to have gone through a disciplinary inquiry relating to gross dishonesty and fraudulent misrepresentation of his academic qualifications, Prasa spokesperson Sipho Sithole told Fin24 earlier in July.

But Prasa was determined to pursue criminal charges against him.

Mthimkhulu was suspended on July 17 with immediate effect following reports that he was not officially registered with the profession’s statutory body.

According to a Netwerk24 report, the Engineering Council of South Africa (Ecsa) rejected Dr Daniel Mtimkhulu’s application to register with it in 2006.