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Former Prasa board chair took role while chairing water tribunal, Zondo hears

She has confirmed that she had to make a special request to the president to defer her effective date as a judge to allow her to finish her work at Prasa

A YouTube screengrab of Judge Tintswalo Makhubele at the state capture commission of inquiry in Johannesburg on 3 August 2020.

JOHANNESBURG - The state capture commission has heard how former Passenger Railway Agency of South Africa (Prasa) board chair Tintswalo Makhubele took on that role while she was chairing a water tribunal and had also applied to be a judge.

She has confirmed that she had to make a special request to the President to defer her effective date as a judge to allow her to finish her work at Prasa.

The rail agency's legal officials have accused Makhubele of being obsessed with, and single-handedly concluding, a multi-million-rand settlement with Siyaya - which the executives challenged in court.

Makhubele got her way with sidelining evidence leader advocate Vas Soni and Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo decided to question her himself.

Zondoa repeatedly asked her why she took on such demanding roles of chairing the board of Prasa, while she was already chairing a tribunal at the Water Department and she had applied to be a judge. But Makhubele maintained there was nothing untoward.

However, Prasa executives have alleged that she wanted to stay even after she was made a judge because she wanted to personally award a R59 million settlement to Siyaya against the advice of the agency's legal team.

She denied this.

“Did you involve them in discussing the merits and demerits of settling the Siyaya claims before your board instructed that the claims be settled?” Makhubele was asked.

She responded: “They did not respond to the memorandum, they were not aware of what was happening.”

Makhubele has again threatened to spill the beans of irregularities involving the Prasa legal team.

“She only wants to talk about me as if I’m just this branch that was put there on my own and she forgets about herself and other boards where their irregularities flagged by the auditor general.”

Makhubele said she would prove that the Siyaya settlement was not her decision.

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