Montana still pursuing legal action for ‘unfair dismissal’

Prasa’s group CEO Lucky Montana says he was unlawfully dismissed before his notice period was up.

FILE: Former Prasa group CEO Lucky Montana. Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Axed Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) group CEO Lucky Montana says he will continue pursuing legal action after what he calls an "unfair dismissal".

Two weeks ago the board of the rail agency decided to dismiss Montana before his notice period was up.

Montana says this was done unlawfully, but he is also concerned about being implicated in tender fraud for a contract of R2,4 billion.

He says this was implied by chairman of the board Popo Molefe.

"The chairman of Prasa has consistently been making a story about a R2,4 billion rand tender they had to cancel, implying there may have been tender fraud or corruption. It's something I've taken strong exceptions to and I've also instructed my legal team to pursue that.

LISTEN: Prasa sheds some light on Lucky Montana's axing

Two weeks ago, Montana claimed the board was lying by saying that he'd being fired for not adhering to certain conditions during his notice period.

Montana said the board was not telling the truth to the people of South Africa.

"I've expected this for quite a while. I think for a period of eight months we've been having a running battle with the board and the chairman of the board."

Prasa said COO Nathi Khena would take over as the acting group CEO while the board found a suitable replacement.

The locomotive company said its board resolved that Montana would not be required to work the remainder of his notice period, which commenced on 1 June 2015.

LISTEN: Montana disappointed, but expected axing


Meanwhile, Montana has praised the rail agency's engineering head, saying he brought about so many changes despite not being able to prove his academic qualifications.

Daniel Mthimkhulu was suspended earlier this month after failing to produce the engineering and PhD qualifications which he claimed he had.

Today he resigned, although Prasa has not accepted this, especially after it opened a criminal case against him.

Montana says if he was still CEO, he would have handled the situation differently.

"I wouldn't deal with it in the way that it has been dealt with; I think he has rose through the ranks. People may say he mislead [them] and there is a case to be answered in that particular regard, but I'm guided by a completely different set of principles and values."

Monatana says Mthimkhulu is a genius.

"I want to pay tribute to him. I think Daniel Mthimkhulu may not have the qualifications but the guy is a genius. If I was still at Prasa I'd still take corrective action but in a different manner."