Popo Molefe: Montana misled Prasa board about R2.4bn Braamfontein project

Former Prasa board chair Popo Molefe told the state capture commission that the investigation into the project was kept confidential because people who were loyal to Montana remained in positions at the state-owned entity.

FILE: A screengrab of Transnet board chair Popo Molefe appearing at the Zondo Commission on 7 May 2019. Picture: YouTube

JOHANNESBURG – Former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) board chair Popo Molefe said the former chief executive officer (CEO) Lucky Montana misled his board about the Braamfontein modernisation project valued at R2.4 billion.

So, the board decided to keep information about investigations of irregularities away from Montana and other officials.

Molefe told the state capture commission that Montana resigned before his contract expired, but he wanted to serve the six months’ notice stipulated in his contract.

Molefe has clarified that former President Jacob Zuma didn’t say in words that he wanted the Prasa board to reinstate Montana. But his actions, including calling a meeting to discuss the issue, gave him that impression.

“He did not say reinstate him. So I can only talk about the impression that I got. He calls a meeting, they prime Mr Montana to prepare thoroughly for that meeting.”

Molefe also clarified that Montana resigned six months before his contract came to end and the board trusted him to appoint service providers to find his successor, but he delayed the process.

But the board was already unhappy with him.

“What we called the Braamfontein depot modernisation rails and turnout tenders, estimated at the amount of R2.4 billion, and we were misled by the group CEO Mr Montana.”

Molefe said t the investigation was kept confidential because people who were loyal to Montana remained in positions at the state-owned entity.

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