Nothing in Prasa report based on a hunch - Madonsela

Amanda Khoza , News24

Durban - Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has voiced her disappointment at former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana’s decision to challenge her findings in court.

Addressing the media after delivering a keynote address on Women’s Month at the University of KwaZulu-Natal on Tuesday, Madonsela said Montana had earlier expressed a very different view in a letter to her.

The report into the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) entitled Derailed was released on Monday and Madonsela implicated Montana in maladministration at the parastatal.

In an interview with Talk radio 702 on Tuesday morning, Montana reportedly said Madonsela was not the judge.

He said he planned to take the matter to court so it could be reviewed and set aside.

Madonsela said Montana wrote to her after she released her provisional report.

"I am disappointed that he has changed his tone because he came and read the report in our office, and eventually took a copy.

"In his letter he wrote to me, he said he was happy with the report. He had one or two things that he wished we could have handled differently. He undertook to comply with the findings and remedial actions... so I am surprised that he has taken a different tone."

However, Madonsela said this was consistent with what she faced while she was conducting her investigation.

"One thing was said and [it contradicted] another that was said. The narrative he would send us would say one thing and the document supplied would say another story.

"I am sad, but the investigation is continuing and the fact that he no longer works for Prasa doesn't change things, because he still resides in the Republic of South Africa."

She said her office would still be communicating with Montana and he was free to further engage with them to understand how she arrived at the findings and the remedial action.

"Where we say [in the report] this went wrong, we indicated how it went wrong. Secondly we also say where Prasa had done well. And the third approach was if there was inconclusive evidence we said that there was inconclusive evidence.

"None of the evidence was found on a hunch. It was based on the evidence we had," said Madonsela.