Prasa fires CEO Zolani Matthews over dual citizenship matter

Zolani Matthews, who was appointed in February, was suspended last month after it emerged that he had been denied security clearance by the State Security Agency, which was a requirement of his employment contract.

FILE: Prasa CEO Zolani Matthews. Picture: Twitter/@MbalulaFikile

JOHANNESBURG - The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has terminated the employment contract of group chief executive Zolani Matthews with immediate effect over his failure to disclose that he held British citizenship.

Matthews, who was appointed in February, was suspended last month after it emerged that he had been denied security clearance by the State Security Agency, which was a requirement of his employment contract.

Prasa initiated an investigation into the matter to determine if Matthews had deliberately and intentionally failed to disclose his dual citizenship to Prasa.

In a statement released on Thursday, Prasa said that its board had unanimously decided to end Matthews' contract after the investigation report returned adverse findings against him.

The rail agency said that during the investigation, Matthews was given an opportunity to present his version and that he and his lawyer were "privy to the contents of the report".

Prasa said that it was already looking for Matthews' replacement.

David Mphelo was appointed as acting head of Prasa after Matthews was suspended.