ANC MP Mabe seeking legal advice on Prasa report

Genevieve Quintal, News24

Johannesburg - ANC MP Pule Mabe is seeking legal advice after adverse findings were made against him in the public protector's report into maladministration at the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa).

"He instructed me to assist him by reviewing the public protector's report with a view to formulate an appropriate response on those aspects that he feels hard done by," his lawyer Zola Majavu told News24 on Tuesday.

Mabe has alleged that he was not interviewed by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela during her investigation into the rail agency.

Majavu said he would meet with Mabe on Wednesday.

He said Mabe indicated that he had additional documentation which would disprove some of the conclusions Madonsela made in her report.

"I have subsequently in the interim written to the public protector to seek clarity on whether or not during the course of her investigation, at the very least when she prepared the initial provisional report, did she afford Mr Mabe the opportunity to make submissions, which is usual procedure.

"If it turns out that it is true that he was not afforded an opportunity, we would want to have that opportunity to make submissions."

Majavu said he sent the letter to Madonsela's office on Tuesday.

'I want to assume that there is a mistake'

In the report, entitled Derailed, Madonsela found evidence of widespread maladministration and impropriety in the awarding of tenders worth R2.8bn at Prasa.

In 2012, the SA Transport and Allied Workers’ Union reported allegations of corruption and tender irregularities at Prasa to the public protector.

Mabe's company, KG Media, was awarded a tender by Prasa to produce a magazine, Hambanathi.

Madonsela found that Mabe's company had been "improperly" appointed to produce the magazine.

Majavu on Tuesday said he had advised Mabe not to speak to the media regarding the Prasa report.

"We don't want to be seen to be rubbishing the public protector... Our approach is simply this - let's establish the facts. If we say she got something wrong, let's point out to her what is it that she got wrong and maybe she will come back and say 'yes it was my mistake'.

"I want to assume that there is a mistake somewhere. That's why I afforded the public protector an opportunity to respond," he said.