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Prasa to take legal action against implicated staff

Thuli Madonsela found evidence of widespread maladministration and impropriety in the awarding of tenders.

The chairman of the Prasa board Popo Molefe discusses the Public Protector's report on 3 September 2015. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

PRETORIA - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) board chairperson Popo Molefe says legal action will be taken against several people implicated in the Public Protector's report.

He will, however, not divulge who they intend taking action against at this stage, saying only they are employees and former employees.

Last week a dvocate Thuli Madonsela released her findings which showed evidence of widespread maladministration and impropriety in the awarding of tenders at Prasa, many involving former CEO Lucky Montana.

Molefe says Prasa is committed to taking the necessary steps to deal with the Public Protector's findings.

He says they have asked for a senior procurement officer from national treasury to join them while they restructure that department.

They will also deal with individuals who have been implicated in irregular and wasteful expenditure internally and will take legal action where necessary.

"We will take action. Each case will be dealt with on its own merit and I'm not going to single out any individual in this regard."

At the same time Molefe says they will begin an academic qualifications verification audit, a process to be conducted by the South African Qualifications Authority at the company after their engineering head lied about his qualifications and another person misrepresented his qualifications.

In addition, with regards to all employees unlawfully suspended, their suspensions continue to be appropriately addressed.

MOLEFE SHOCKED

Molefe has expressed his surprise with the findings.

"We were shocked, we had a new board and we only became aware seriously of this public protector investigation in March this year."

While Montana is preparing to take legal action to have the findings dismissed, Molefe says this has nothing to do with the internal processes.

"I think he is exercising his constitutional right. He may do so if he wishes to do so. I have got nothing to say about it."

Molefe said they want to assist Madonsela with her second report with regards to providing information they've sourced during an internal investigation.

"NOT CONDUCTING A WITCH-HUNT"

Molefe said they will pursue legal action where necessary.

"The company and management are not conducting a witch-hunt. It'd be nice if some people came forward on their own."

Molefe says this was triggered by engineering head Daniel Mtimkulu,who lied about his qualifications and since then another employee has been found to have done the same.

He says they are determined to continue with the modernisation programme.