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Molefe: Hawks have a duty to investigate corruption at Prasa

On Tuesday, Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi gave Molefe a week to explain why he should not be removed from his post.

FILE: Chairman of the Prasa board Popo Molefe (centre) at a press briefing. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) chairperson Popo Molefe says the fact the Hawks are opposing his court application demanding that they investigate corruption at the agency or explain why they won’t, proves they don’t want to investigate.

On Tuesday, Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi gave Molefe a week to explain why he should not be removed from his post.

Molefe has just five more weeks left in his term in the job.

He says the Hawks have a duty to investigate.

“They don’t want to deal with major criminal offences. We’ve given them forensic capacity so that they can analyse the information, and we want them to tell us what they have done about these matters.”

On Monday night Maswanganyi wrote to Molefe saying he wants to dissolve the board and gave its members seven days to provide reasons as to why he should allow them to stay in office.

The board chair has previously been involved in a dispute with former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana after Montana allowed the parastatal to spend billions on locomotives that were too tall for the railway network.

Molefe said he and his board are not to blame for the rail agency missing its targets.

“The department and the minister have blocked the efforts of the board to appoint the group CEO for such a long time. This meant that we were sailing a ship that did not have a captain.”

And he said it's clear who is actually responsible for this situation.

“The blame must be put on the door of the department and the ministry.”

Molefe also went head-to-head with former Transport Minister Dipou Peters after she tried to stop him from carrying on with an investigation into deals at Prasa worth billions of rand.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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