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Prasa denies Molefe tried to blackmail Mthimkhulu

Prasa's Sipho Sithole says Daniel Mthimkhulu is lying about being contacted by their chairperson.

Screengrab of Prasa’s suspended engineering chief Daniel Mtimkhulu. Picture: Youtube.

JOHANNESBURG - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has denied allegations that Chairperson Popo Molefe tried to blackmail suspended Engineering Head Daniel Mthimkhulu.

Yesterday Prasa's axed group CEO Lucky Montana claimed he had text messages to prove that Molefe had tried to force Mthimkhulu to co-operate with him after he failed to prove his academic qualifications.

Montana claims the chairman was after him.

Earlier this month the board decided to dismiss him before the end of his notice.

Prasa's Sipho Sithole says Mthimkhulu is lying about being contacted by the chairperson.

"He wanted to talk to the chairperson. We are dealing with someone who has defrauded the country and who has lied about his qualifications."

COPS TO DECIDE ON MONTANA VS PRASA CASE

It's now up to the police to investigate whether fraud allegations made by the former Prasa group CEO can be proven, and whether anyone can be prosecuted.

On Thursday, Montana opened a criminal case against members of Prasa's current management, claiming the rail agency has been defrauded of millions of rands.

He also drew attention to alleged donations from a supplier and the return of a member of staff he had suspended.

Montana showed journalists text messages he claims were sent by Molefe to the axed chief engineer.

"Prasa was pursuing Mtimkulu with such energy they were overzealous in terms of making sure that he's charged with fraud. Here's a case where we've got evidence that Prasa has been defrauded."

Mtimkulu was suspended for allegedly lying about his qualifications and later resigned while Montana was released by the board without serving his resignation notice period.