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Prasa officials 'thin on detail' in meeting with Scopa

MPs' questions over various issues at Prasa were largely met with the same response in Parliament today.

FILE. The Chairman of the Prasa Board, Popo Molefe, on the Public Protector report on 3 September 2015. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Ongoing investigations into the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) today prevented Parliamentarians from asking probing questions.

Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) cut short a meeting with officials from the rail agency today after Members of Parliament (MPs) were repeatedly told issues related to procurement irregularities and the flouting of internal procedures are still being investigated.

The meeting comes just three months after the Public Protector released a report into large-scale maladministration at the parastatal, entitled "Derailed".

Thuli Madonsela recommended the board take appropriate disciplinary action against certain officials, particularly former CEO Lucky Montana.

Fed up that the committee was not getting concrete answers, African National Congress MP Vincent Smith said they were being led in circles.

"Our role to exercise oversight is being hampered over the ongoing investigations."

Prasa Chairperson Popo Molefe explains why he was thin on detail.

"When you probe deeper into issues that are the subject of the investigations and are before the court, in the public forum of this nature, it is ill-advised to go into details."

The committee has decided to postpone the meeting to next year.

For now, Prasa is expected to compile a list of the various investigations that are underway and how long each is expected to take.