Report casts spotlight back onto Lucky Montana

Prasa's axed CEO has been implicated in about a third of complaints the Public Protector probed.

FILE. Axed Prasa CEO Lucky Montana during a press briefing in Johannesburg Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) CEO Lucky Montana is once again in the spotlight following a scathing report by Public Protector Thuli Madonsela showing widespread maladministration at the rail agency.

Madonsela released the findings of her investigation into Prasa on Monday, showing impropriety in the awarding of tenders at Prasa amounting to almost R3 billion.

Montana has been implicated in about a third of the complaints that the Public Protector investigated.

Madonsela says out of the 37 complaints she reported to the Public Protector, many involved the former CEO.

"Most of the complaints were that Mr. Montana and or Prasa improperly awarded tenders, appointed service providers, without following proper tender processes."

She says although not all documents were provided to her in order to investigate allegations against the rail agency, all unanswered questions will be deferred to a second report.

Montana was also found to have improperly suspended employees and terminated contracts of executives without following proper procedures.

Madonsela has called for a forensic investigation by National Treasury into all Prasa contracts above R10 million from 2012.

Meanwhile, Montana says he's disappointed with the report, saying there are several factual inaccuracies.

LISTEN: EWN _reporter Gia Nicolaides gives 702'S Xolani Gwala an update after the Public Protector revealed the findings of an investigation into Prasa. _

At the same time, the Public Protector has recommended that the Prasa board takes cognizance of the findings of maladministration and the conduct of Montana and other functionaries.

Several communication, security and media tenders were found to be awarded irregularly and the Public Protector believes there's been wasteful expenditure.

She says a second report will be released containing findings from seven complaints and inconclusive findings from this report.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters says she will be considering the report along with the rail agency's board.

Her spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi says the report will be studied and considered.

"At face value, we believe that there are several areas of grave concern that the board of Prasa needs to attend to urgently. The board of Prasa has a constitutional obligation to ensure that the management of state resources are ensured."

To read excerpts of Madonsela's report _ click here_.