DA to lay criminal charges against Montana
Genevieve Quintal, News24
Johannesburg - The DA will lay fraud and corruption charges against axed Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) chief executive Lucky Montana.
The party also asked the Special Investigative Unit (SIU) to conduct a forensic investigation into the misconduct at the rail agency, its leader Mmusi Maimane said on Tuesday.
"The abuse of public funds uncovered by the public protector, advocate Thuli Madonsela, at Prasa poses a significant threat to the parastatal, which has an important mandate to transport millions of South Africans to work and school on a daily basis.
"The scathing findings by the public protector of the improper awarding, extension and appointment of tender contracts to companies and connected individuals by the CEO and the Prasa board must be condemned in the strongest terms as this amounted to over R355m."
In the report, entitled Derailed, Madonsela found evidence of widespread maladministration and impropriety in the awarding of tenders worth R2.8bn at Prasa.
Montana was widely implicated in the report.
In 2012, the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union reported allegations of corruption and tender irregularities at Prasa to the public protector.
Montana has said he will go to court to challenge Madonsela's report.
Maimane said the DA would take a number of steps to "affect justice", which included laying the charges against Montana and asking the SIU to investigate.
"[The DA will] request that the Special Investigative Unit conduct a forensic investigation into the misconduct at Prasa in order to determine the criminal liability of those involved in the scandal and prosecute them accordingly," he said.
Maimane said Madonsela's report must be tabled before Parliament so that its recommendations could be properly monitored and enforced by the portfolio committee on transport.
The party was intending to write to the committee.
"The misconduct at Prasa is symptomatic of the corruption that has become endemic in the ANC government," he said.
"This is robbing South Africans of basic services and infrastructure while connected individuals become rich through the theft of public funds."