'Armageddon of corruption': SIU briefs Scopa on state of Prasa

The committee heard how billions of rands were under investigation, including a R2.3 billion contract for 20 locomotives that were never delivered.

FILE: Prasa unveiled the new models that form part of its modernisation programme. Picture: Eyewitness News.

CAPE TOWN - The Special Investigating Unit (SIU) has raised the alarm about the extent of corruption at the Passenger Railway Agency of South Africa (Prasa), calling the situation “dire”.

One member of Parliament has gone as far as calling Prasa as an “Armageddon of corruption”.

The SIU briefed Parliament’s finance watchdog on Prasa on Wednesday, detailing some of the corrupt activities and what actions have been taken.

The SIU also briefed Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) on other parastatals Eskom and Transnet.

The committee heard how billions of rands were under investigation, including a R2.3 billion contract for 20 locomotives that were never delivered.

Another incident involves the non-delivery of a security system to detect cable theft.

SIU head Advocate Andy Mothibi said: “The situation is really dire from the evidence that we have uncovered, and we really look to ensuring that all of those actions are taken.”

Committee chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said they would pay the struggling entity a visit.

“What I am seeing is that Prasa is clearly an Armageddon of corruption because even if you go back to the AG report, it was quite clear that all is not well at Prasa.”

The SIU said a number of officials who have been dismissed and will also face criminal charges.

The SIU said prosecuting and holding people accountable at key state entities was the only effective deterrent for corruption.

MPs were also told of an investigation into one Transnet acquisition of 1,064 locomotives valued at R54 billion.

Mothibi said the only way the country could stop corrupt activities was by acting decisively.

“We need to ensure that there is consequence management and that everyone who is involved is acted upon. That is the part that will bring out deterrence, deterrence to all those who would be corruptors and maladministrators going forward."

Download the Eyewitness News app to your iOS or Android device.