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Peters: Werksmans law firm was also appointed irregularly at Prasa

She said she understood that the investigations were important to chase wrongdoers, but the board was committing another wrong.

A screengrab of former Transport Minister Dipuo Peters at the state capture inquiry on 23 February 2021. Picture: SABC/YouTube.

JOHANNESBURG - Former Transport Minister Dipuo Peters said she put a stop to Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) investigations into irregular contracts by Werksmans Attorneys because the firm was also appointed irregularly.

While testifying at the state capture commission on Tuesday, she said she understood that the investigations were important to chase wrongdoers, but the board was committing another wrong.

READ: Peters concedes she could have been wrong to block Prasa CEO appointment

She said she also didn’t get reports as promised on the investigations.

ALSO READ: I was aware trains bought during Montana’s tenure were too tall – Peters

Peters said the contract and investigations had been going on for years and every year it was called unforeseen.

“And in terms of the PMFA, it cannot be at all times unforeseen and unplanned and my concern was can the board regularise this and not create an avenue where it becomes an audit finding. Because that was the issue, chairperson.”

FOCUS ON R95M INSTEAD OF R3.5BN

Peters said she doesn’t know why a parliamentary portfolio committee decided to focus on R93 million paid to Werksmans Attorneys to investigate corruption.

This was to put a stop to investigations into R3.5 billion of irregular contracts.

Peters said she wanted to get to the bottom of allegations that some of that money went to the African National Congress (ANC).

“That there is this story about corruption relating to a contract through which a political party allegedly received R80 million and R93 million is spent on investigations.”

Peters was transport minister when allegations emerged of tenders involving hundreds of millions being used to fund ANC activities.

The board appointed Werksmans Attorneys to investigate but Peters believes their appointment was irregular and the Parliament portfolio committee endorsed her.

When asked by the commission: “Does it make sense that you would concentrate on the cost of the investigations in a R3.5 billion contract?’

She responded: “Chairperson, I can’t answer for the portfolio committee because I don’t know the context.”

Peters is expected to return to conclude her testimony at a later stage.

WATCH: The commission hears Prasa related evidence from Dipuo Peters

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