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Popo Molefe: Transport ministry to blame for Prasa’s woes

Minister Maswanganyi’s Molefe saying he wants to dissolve the board and gave its members seven days to make representations.

Popo Molefe. Picture: whoswho.co.za

JOHANNESBURG – Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) chairman Popo Molefe says his board is not to blame for the problems at the agency, but that he won't say yet how he and his board will respond to the letter sent to them by Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi.

On Monday night Maswanganyi wrote to Molefe saying he wants to dissolve the board and gave its members seven days to provide reasons as to why he should allow them to stay in office.

The board chair has previously been involved in a dispute with former Prasa chief executive officer (CEO) Lucky Montana after Montana allowed the parastatal to spend billions on locomotives that were too tall for the railway network.

Molefe says he and his board are not to blame for the rail agency missing its targets.

“The department and the minister have blocked the efforts of the board to appoint the group CEO for such a long time. This meant that we were sailing a ship that did not have a captain.”

And he says it's clear who is actually responsible for this situation.

“The blame must be put on the door of the department and the ministry.”

Molefe also went head-to-head with former Transport Minister Dipou Peters after she tried to stop him from carrying on with an investigation into deals at Prasa worth billions of rand.