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Swifambo Rail Leasing ordered to pay back R2.6bn to Prasa

Prasa paid R2.6 billion for the locomotives but the full complement was not delivered.

FILE: Prasa's head office next to Park Station at Umjantshi House on Wolmarans Street, Braamfontein. Picture: Google Earth.

CAPE TOWN - The company at the centre of a controversial locomotive tender will have to pay back the R2.6 billion it received from Prasa after the High Court in Johannesburg struck down the contract.

The court found the tender was rigged to favour Swifambo Rail Leasing, a company that used its Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment rating to front for a Spanish manufacturer.

The Prasa board led by Popo Molefe, went to court in 2015 to have the tender set aside, pitting Molefe against former CEO Lucky Montana.

Prasa paid R2.6 billion for the locomotives but the full complement was not delivered.

The locomotives do not meet the agency's height specifications and are gathering dust, says board director William Steenkamp.

“Of the 70, we only received 13 as Prasa, even though we had paid R2.6 billion thus far. We haven’t received the complement of the locomotives that can justify the quantum of R2.6 billion and that is part of the problem.”

Swifambo issued a statement in response to yesterday’s judgment in which the company vows to challenge the decision.

This could delay Prasa's efforts to recoup the money.

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