Prasa seeks to recover R2.6bn spent on irregular tender

The rail agency launched a lawsuit against Swifambo Rail Leasing to recoup the money wasted on tall trains.

FILE: One of Prasa’s new test trains to replace the aging Metrorail fleet. Picture: Department of Transport.

JOHANNESBURG - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) says it has a duty to comply with the Public Protector's remedial action and is now trying to recover R2.6 billion of tax payers money spent on an irregular tender.

Last year, Advocate Thuli Madonsela's team found that former group CEO Lucky Montana had irregularly awarded tenders.

The agency has launched a lawsuit against Swifambo Rail Leasing and its holding company to recoup the money wasted on locomotives that are too tall for South Africa's rail network.

It's been reported that an Angolan businesswoman with close ties to President Jacob Zuma and a business partner of one of his sons were paid R80 million by Swifambo.

Prasa's board chair Popo Molefe says they want the company to pay back the money and take back the Afro-4000 trains supplied to this country.

"There is a campaign out there that suggests what we are doing is pure vindictiveness, as if we just dreamt about this matter and decided to investigate. We are investigating in accordance with the remedial action of the Public Protector."

Prasa says it is not gaining anything from the launch of the civil claim and is only doing so for tax payers.

Molefe says the country needs to stand firm against corruption.

"South Africa needs to be decisive on matters which exhibits elements of corruption and fraud. I think it is important that the South African Police Service take these matters seriously."