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Molefe: Prasa vindicated by court decision to set aside R3.5bn tender

Prasa's board has succeeded in getting an irregular locomotive tender set aside nearly two years after the Public Protector found large-scale maladministration at the rail agency.

FILE: Chairman of the Prasa board Popo Molefe (centre) at a press briefing. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa's (Prasa) board has succeeded in getting an irregular locomotive tender set aside nearly two years after the Public Protector found large-scale maladministration at the rail agency.

The board, led by chairperson Popo Molefe, says it has been vindicated by the South Gauteng High Court's decision to nullify a R3.5 billion contract with Swifambo Rail Leasing.

The deal was struck in 2013 under former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana.

Non-executive Prasa board director William Steenkamp says the tender was irregular.

“Swifambo was a start-up company and did not have any capacity to manufacture and supply Prasa with locomotives. It was 100% dependent on a company called Vossloh.”

He says Swifambo Rail Leasing had been fronting for a Spanish manufacturer.

The company had supplied trains that were unsuitable for the local rail network.

In late 2015, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released a report titled Derailed, in which she said the board had a responsibility to act against allegations of wrongdoing.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)