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Disgruntled Prasa workers call for Montana's return

Lucky Montana was relieved from his duties but employees say there has been no communication about it.

Prasa's head office next to Park Station at Umjantshi House on Wolmarans Street, Braamfontein. Picture: Google Earth.

JOHANNESBURG - Dozens of Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) employees and managers are demonstrating outside the rail agency's offices in Pretoria saying they're unhappy with recent decisions made by the board.

Former Group CEO Lucky Montana was relieved from his duties but employees say to date there has been no internal communication about this.

A briefing took place on the street outside the building in Hatfield with the group calling on government to intervene in the parastatal.

Prasa employees planned to have a briefing inside the boardroom at their offices in Hatfield.

However, they were stopped from doing so, saying they were manhandled by officials inside the building.

After singing and dancing in the parking area, the rail agency's Anele Mda addressed the media on the street.

"Gathered here today are employees of Prasa who are committed to Prasa; it's our conviction that it's time that government intervened in the state of affairs of Prasa."

They also want Montana to be reinstated, saying he was unfairly dismissed and the board is now taking over operational matters instead of providing guidance to managers.

At the same time, Prasa employees say they want to uphold the integrity of the company and want government to intervene after a series of unfortunate events.

Mda says they have written to the office of the Presidency to intervene in this matter and others, including operational issues.

"We've observed unfortunate and recent developments, which have occurred in our environment with shock, disgust and disbelief. These include amongst many, the decision by the board to release the Group CEO of Prasa, Lucky Montana; it includes a series of statements that have been articulated in the media regarding the purported reasons for the decision."

SENIOR STAFF AT PRASA DEMAND MONTANA'S RETURN

Senior managers at Prasa say the former CEO has worked painstakingly to build the rail agency and they don't believe he is corrupt in any way.

They believe the board has taken over operational matters instead of guiding managers.

They also believe Montana's departure was unlawful.

Moffet Mofokeng says Montana has spent the past 10 years building Prasa.

"You know superstars come and say 'hei chief we know better'. They think he is corrupt and his reputation is being [tarnished]."

They have now written a memo which will be handed to government, asking for urgent intervention in order to uphold the integrity of the company.