‘What about my dignity’: dismissed Prasa CEO

Dismissed Prasa CEO Lucky Montana, says he will have Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report reviewed in court.

Montana has been widely implicated in Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on maladministration at the Passenger Rail Agency South Africa (Prasa).

He told various radio stations on Tuesday that the report contains inaccuracies, adding that Madonsela has violated his rights and human dignity.

In 2012, the SA Transport and Allied Workers union reported allegations of corruption and tender irregularities at Prasa to the public protector.

According to the report the complaints were principally levelled against Prasa management and Montana.

Allegations included financial mismanagement, procurement irregularities, unmanaged conflict of interest, nepotism/cronyism/corruption, irregular appointments and maladministration.

“About 17 tenders and contracts collectively exceeding R2.8bn were specifically identified by the Complainant for investigation of supply chain irregularities, including non-competitive processes, cronyism, scope creep, cost overruns, overpayment and fruitless and wasteful expenditure,” Madonsela said at the beginning of her report released on Monday.

Madonsela said she held numerous meetings with Montana and his lawyers which were chronologically outlined in the report titled “Derailed”.

The report directly implicates Montana on 8 charges:

  • The improper termination of contracts of 7 cleaning companies followed by an irregular replacement with two other companies constituted maladministration, abuse of power and improper conduct.
  • The improper appointment of a media company to produce a magazine for the agency. Montana acted ‘unlawfully’ and ‘displayed a disconcerting disregard for the rule of law’.
  • Montana appointed a change management consultancy for an amount of about R6m without three quotations from suppliers.
  • Montana improperly awarded a R10 million tender for the development of a ‘Contingency Emergency Preparedness Programme’ for Metrorail without a competitive process.
  • On the authority of Montana rental was paid for 20 months after Prasa vacated a building.
  • Fruitless and wasteful expenditure estimated at R5 million after the improper termination of contracts of 5 executives.
  • Improper suspensions which gave rise to labour dispute settlements amounting to R3.35 million.
  • The improper appointment of a special adviser at a cost of R2 million.

Reporting with News24

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‘What about my dignity’: dismissed Prasa CEO