Zondo rebukes Prasa’s attempt to have head of legal testify

Evidence leader advocate Vas Soni said he received a letter from the rail agency after Ngoye said she wants to respond to the evidence of former group CEO Lucky Montana and about the intimidation that she has been subjected to.

A screenshot of Prasa's  of legal Martha Ngoye at the state capture commission on Tuesday, 1 June 2021. Picture: SABC Digital News/ YouTube.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has rebuked the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa)'s attempts to prevent head of legal Martha Ngoye from testifying.

Evidence leader advocate Vas Soni on Tuesday said he received a letter from the rail agency after Ngoye said she wanted to respond to the evidence of former group CEO Lucky Montana and about the intimidation that she was subjected to.

Prasa said Ngoye’s testimony on her unfair dismissal was outside the terms of reference of the commission.

But Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo disagreed: “If Prasa people are engaged in corruption and people are entitled to come to this commission and say so.”

Ngoye said some information given to the state capture commission on decisions made by tender committees was false and she and other executives found their names included in a bid adjudication committee that they never sat in.

“All of us that were identified as part of the committee, we got together and we were puzzled because not a single one of us remember sitting in the committee.”

Ngoye alleged that Montana was behind the awarding of a R3.5 billion contract to Swifambo Rail.

But Montana said Ngoye knew more because she sat in the tender committee.

Ngoye was fired by Montana but challenged her dismissal and was reinstated after Montana was removed.

She said former members of the board of Intersite - a subsidiary of the rail agency - said it was not true that they were planning to fire her for incompetence

This was alleged by Montana, who told the state capture commission that Ngoye cried when she found out that she would be fired.

Montana said he intervened on her behalf and recommended that she should be redeployed at Prasa legal instead.

“Mr Montana also raised the fact that I cried before he wanted to fire when I was the CEO of Intersite.”

She said Montana was not telling the truth when he said he came to her rescue and told the board not to fire her.

“I took my phone and sent messages to the company secretary at the time and to the lead independent chair of the board, I asked them to advise me if this ever happened because Mr Montana is at the commission and he’s making these presentations. I said I was not aware that you as the board wanted to fire me because of my incompetence. He said that never happened.”

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