Montana belongs in jail - DA

Dane McDonald

Cape Town – The Democratic Alliance (DA) is in the process of laying criminal charges against axed Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) CEO Lucky Montana, its leader Mmusi Maimane said on Tuesday.

The DA will lay charges of fraud and corruption following the release of Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report, which found widespread maladministration at Prasa.

According to Madonsela, Prasa reported an accumulated loss of R4.4bn from 2010-2012 and a loss of R1bn for 2014/15.

“Luck Montana’s place is in jail... he must be criminally investigated,” Maimane said.

Under Montana’s leadership Prasa “knowingly” contravened the Public Finance Management Act and supply chain management policies, Maimane said.

Montana, who was dismissed in July, was widely fingered in Madonsela’s 550-page report entitled 'Derailed'.

Madonsela directly implicated Montana on eight charges including maladministration, abuse of power and improper conduct.

“South Africans have the right to push for the ultimate levels of accountability,” Maimane said.

Maimane said the DA will request that the Special Investigative Unit conduct a forensic investigation to determine the criminal liability of those involved.

“Mr Pule Mabe must be compelled to repay the salary he fraudulently received, as well as for the contracts received by his company,” Maimane said.

In a partnership which was described by Madonsela as "bizarre", Mabe’s media company won a contract worth R16.7m to publish a transport magazine from 2012 to 2015.

According to Madonsela, Montana acted in bad faith when he extended the contract for another three years, for the same amount. This was while he was aware of a finding of maladministration regarding the magazine.

According to Maimane the DA will propose that Madonsela's report be tabled before Parliament, “so that its recommendations can be properly monitored and enforced by the Portfolio Committee on Transport”.