Metrorail’s Richard Walker denies allegations of mismanagement

Lobby group #UniteBehind says Walker has failed to report the so-called ‘rot’ that has led to the alleged state capture of Prasa.

FILE: Metrorail Western Cape manager Richard Walker. Picture: Cindy Archillies/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Metrorail Western Cape Manager Richard Walker has denied allegations of mismanagement.

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) board has placed Walker on special leave - pending an investigation.

Prasa would not share the reasons, only saying it's an “internal matter”.

Lobby group #UniteBehind’s Zukiswa Vuka says Walker has failed to report the so-called "rot" that has led to the alleged state capture of Prasa.

“Crisis-hit Prasa has been marred by corruption under his watch.”

Walker has welcomed an investigation by the Prasa board, adding he's kept them up-to-date with what has been happening at Metrorail.

“The board is fully appraised… I’ll leave it in their hands to deal with the issues which I’ve raised.”

He's has told Eyewitness News he will cooperate in the investigation into his conduct.

At the same time, the United National Transport Union (Untu) has issued a statement saying it welcomes Prasa's decision to remove Walker.

Untu has blamed Walker’s mismanagement of rail services in the province as the reason why services on Cape Town’s central line were suspended for six weeks.

But Walker says Untu’s statement is opportunistic and disingenuous, as he hasn’t been removed.

“The process will run its course… nobody is above the processes of the organisation. I’m fully committed to cooperating; the truth will eventually be revealed.”

He wouldn't say exactly what he’s being investigated for.

It's unclear for how long Walker will remain on special leave as Metrorail says it depends on the outcomes of the probe.

The lobby group also wants Prasa acting CEO Mthuthuzeli Swartz removed for alleged corruption.