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DA to lay criminal charges against Lucky Montana

The party was responding to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s scathing report on the abuse of public funds.

FILE: Ex-Prasa group CEO Lucky Montana. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it will lay criminal charges against former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) group CEO Lucky Montana.

The party was responding to Public Protector Thuli Madonsela's scathing report on the abuse of public funds at the parastatal.

Party leader Mmusi Maimane also says the special investigating unit must investigate misconduct at Prasa to determine the criminal liability of those involved in the scandal so they can be prosecuted.

"I believe that Lucky Montana's place is actually in jail. Therefore we must lay a criminal charge against Montana for fraud and for corruption and we lay that under the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act."

Meanwhile, the African National Congress (ANC) has called on the board of Prasa and the transport minister to urgently establish the veracity of what the party calls "allegations" against the rail agency.

The ANC's Keith Khoza said, "The board and the minister and the must look into that board and confirm the allegation made there, action should be taken."

LISTEN: Montana 'surprised' by Madonsela's Prasa report

Yesterday, Madonsela found Prasa guilty of several incidents of maladministration and improper conduct.

She had been investigating the rail agency and delivered an executive summary of her 550-page report.

Montana was found to have irregularly awarded tenders, appointed companies and suspended employees.

The public protector raised serious issues about financial mismanagement within Prasa.

Some of the allegations Involving the awarding of tenders and appointing certain service providers improperly have now been substantiated.

Madonsela said the culture of systematic failure to comply with the company's policy and to manage contracts may have cost Prasa millions in avoidable expenditure.

She called on the transport minister and the board to take note of her findings and take remedial action where necessary.

The public protector says her report into financial mismanagement at Prasa is based on the information that was made available to her.

She said maladministration and improper conduct were highlighted in several of the complaints submitted to her.

"Involving procurement irregularities, conflict of interest, nepotism, human resources management; including victimisation of whistle blowers by Montana."

To read excerpts of Madonsela's report click here.