Motana deliberately misled Prasa board about Public Protector’s probe: Molefe

Popo Molefe
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Former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana deliberately hid information and misled the state-owned enterprise’s board regarding the Public Protector’s investigations about alleged capture and corruption at the agency.

Former board Chairperson Popo Molefe has told the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Braamfontein, Johannesburg, that he first heard about the then Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s report on Prasa through the media in 2015.

Molefe said he then confided in Montana regarding the matter, but he brushed it aside. According to Molefe, shortly after that Montana resigned.

“The approach was there has been this report in the media about the pending report and the final fact that Prasa was given the interim report in request of questions. Do you have that report and if you do, why have you not given that report to the board? And he said, ‘you know, I’ve responded to the many questions the public protector has asked.’ But he doesn’t give us the report at that stage,” says Molefe.

Popo Molefe testifying at State Capture on Thursday:

Tender documents

The former board chairperson told the commission that Montana failed to provide the board with crucial tender documents.

At the time, the board was interested in a tender to procure trains valued at R51 billion. But their numerous requests fell on deaf ears.

According to Molefe, Montana was visibly unhappy when the board approached a law firm to gain access to the documents.

An internal investigation by an audit and risk committee found that there were no controls at Prasa and the organisation was broken.

Molefe testified that they commissioned the investigation following a damning audit report by the Auditor General.

The report recorded an irregular expenditure of R500 million and discovered it was set to increase to R8 billion.

Meanwhile, evidence leader Advocate Vas Soni told the State Capture Commission of Inquiry that Transport Minister, Fikile Mbalula was served with all the affidavits from the witnesses who will soon implicate him. This is despite Mbalula issuing a statement claiming he hadn’t.

Part 2 of State Capture: