Prasa: No money was paid to any political party

Popo Molefe detailed how Swifambo told him payments of up to R80m were made to various political parties.

FILE: A screengrab picture of Prasa chairman Popo Molefe..

JOHANNESBURG - Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa's (Prasa) Acting CEO Collins Letsoalo says he can confirm that money has not been paid from the rail agency's account into any political party's account.

Last week, Prasa's Chairman Popo Molefe filed an affidavit detailing how the director of train supplier Swifambo told him that payments of up to R80 million were made to various "mystery" parties including the African National Congress (ANC).

The affidavit forms part of the rail agency's efforts to overturn a controversial R3.5 billion tender awarded to Swifambo Rail Leasing, which resulted in the agency acquiring locomotives, which are too tall for the rail network.

Last Week, Molefe's affidavit outlined details about the controversial train deal between Prasa and Swifambo.

According to the court papers, Angolan entrepreneur Maria Gomes was the middle woman in the deal and apparently insisted that because the bid was worth millions, a percentage of the value should be paid to the ANC.

Today, Letsoalo denied that such payments were made.

"What I can assure you is that there was no money of Prasa paid to any political party's bank account. That one I can assure you because we do financial and we did this."

At the same time, Letsoalo says discussions between the board and the transport minister remain confidential but he's given an assurance that the investigation into irregularities continues.

Last week, it was revealed that Dipuo Peters had asked Molefe to halt the probe which already cost R80 million and submit a detailed report.

Molefe has now replied to the minister's letter saying it is not in the rail agency's best interest to stop the investigation.