'Many ills not yet uncovered' - Zondo recommends special inquiry into Prasa

In the state capture commission of inquiry’s fifth report released on Wednesday night, Zondo said that despite the extensive evidence he'd heard about the rot at the state rail service during the public hearings, he still felt that there was much to be uncovered.

Chief Justice Raymond Zondo hands President Cyril Ramaphosa the final part of his report into state capture on Wednesday, 22 June 2022. Picture: GCIS

JOHANNESBURG - Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has called for a special commission of inquiry to probe Passenger Railway Agency of South Africa (Prasa), and in particular, how it was allowed to slide into “almost total ruin”.

In the state capture commission of inquiry’s fifth report released on Wednesday night, Zondo said that despite the extensive evidence he'd heard about the rot at the state rail service during the public hearings, he still felt that there was much to be uncovered.

He said that were he not to make this recommendation, it was unlikely that Prasa would recover.

Zondo devoted more than 200 pages of his fifth report to the capture of Prasa, the lion’s share of which honed in on the Swifambo and Siyangena contracts.

State Capture Commission Re... by Primedia Broadcasting

Both are currently being investigated by the Hawks, but Zondo did call on the president to ensure that these investigations were finalised as soon as possible.

He also recommended that the national director of public prosecutions immediately appoint a team to oversee investigations into and prosecutions of those implicated in wrongdoing at Prasa, recommending probes into a raft of them, including former chief executive, Lucky Montana, and former chief procurement officer, Chris Mbatha.

He said that despite the “many, many” days that the commission had spent listening to Prasa-related evidence, he wasstill left with “the uneasy perception that there is much about the ills at Prasa that has not yet been uncovered”.

Zondo added that having given “anxious consideration” to the matter, he had decided that a special commission should be appointed.

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