DA raises concern over Dipuo Peters' letter to stop Prasa contracts probe

The party says it is in possession of a letter written by the transport minister, asking to halt the probe.

Transport Minister Dipuo Peters.Picture: EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance (DA) says it is in possession of a letter written by Transport Minister Dipuo Peters, asking the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) to stop the investigation into irregularities and contracts awarded during former CEO Lucky Montana's tenure.

Law firm Werksmans Attorneys is conducting the investigation into Prasa.

Last year, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a damning report instructing Prasa and National Treasury to probe all contracts at the parastatal valued at over R10 million.

The DA's Shadow Minister of Transport Manny De Freitas says it's concerning that the minister now wants to halt the investigation.

"It looks like a cover-up. Why would she want this thing to be stopped when the [auditor] general and Public Protector requested certain things? Why is she requesting for this to stop? This is a great concern and so I will take this further through Parliamentary processes."

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

Findings of a report released last year by the auditor general revealed improper expenditure of over R700 million at the parastatal.

The Public Protector had raised serious issues about financial mismanagement within Prasa.

Some of the allegations, involving the awarding of tenders and appointing certain service providers improperly, were substantiated last year.

Montana was axed last year after his relationship with the board turned sour.

Additional reporting by Dineo Bendile.

To read excerpts of Madonsela's report click here.