State Capture Inquiry hears about Montana’s alleged spending spree

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The Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has heard how former CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) Lucky Montana allegedly acquired several properties with the help of Precise Trade and Investment, a company owned by Loubser Van der Walt.

According to the report, Van der Walt had done legal work for TMM Holdings, a company with close links to Seyangena which scored multi-million-rand contract at the agency.

According to the evidence presented by the commission’s investigator, Clint Oellermann, Montana also sold one of his properties at an inflated price to Precise Trading.

Oellermann told the commission in Johannesburg that Montana bought three properties between 2014 and 2015, at the same time Siyangena’s contract was being extended.

In the video below, testimony on Prasa continues:

Reluctance from the police to investigate alleged’

Legal Services General Manager of the Passenger Rail Agency Fani Dingiswayo told the commission that it appeared as if there had been some reluctance from the police to investigate alleged corrupt activities at the state-owned company.

Dingiswayo told the judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture that the Hawks’ head of commercial crime unit General Alfred Khana at some point indicated that it was not possible to continue with the Prasa investigation.

According to Dingiswayo, the police told him that a Prasa staff member, who first reported the matter, would not be able to cope with the cross-examination in court.

He says, “The Hawks were concerned about the affidavit of Mr Mamabolo and their concern they indicated was the fact that he makes certain legal conclusions for example so and so were acting in common purpose and committed fraud so it came as a surprise he said we feel stuck because if we take this forward Mr Mamabolo won’t survive cross examination.”

Zuma administration failed Prasa

On Monday, former Prasa Board Chairperson Popo Molefe told the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture that the Zuma administration failed the rail agency.

Molefe said irregularities and corruption at the state-owned enterprise continued to thrive despite the board doing everything in its power to report malaise at the organisation.

He has accused the parliament portfolio committee on transport for failing on its oversight duties and the security cluster for failing to act on corruption at Prasa while there was extensive evidence.

He also accused the ANC’s then top six of not doing anything about the information given to them on the alleged corruption at the rail agency.

In the video below, Molefe testifies before the commission:

Molefe said the board under his leadership was forcefully removed and board directors lobbied to resign from their respective positions in an attempt to render the board dysfunctional. The commission has been adjourned for the week and will resume on Monday. – Additional reporting by Amina Accram