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CityPress - - News - PI­ETER-LOUIS MY­BURGH news@city­press.co.za Rap­port –

n up-mar­ket prop­erty in Cape Town is once more rais­ing ques­tions about rail boss Lucky Mon­tana’s re­la­tion­ships with busi­ness­peo­ple who are awarded big con­tracts by the Pas­sen­ger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa), which he heads.

Three weeks ago, City Press and its sis­ter news­pa­per, Rap­port, re­ported on a ques­tion­able prop­erty deal that con­nects Mon­tana to a se­cu­rity com­pany that won a Prasa ten­der worth R3 bil­lion.

The Fi­nan­cial Mail this week re­ported that Prasa con­tracts awarded “es­pe­cially to se­cu­rity com­pa­nies” were be­ing in­ves­ti­gated.

A house in the Cape Town sub­urb of Oran­jezicht and a shiny sports car are now link­ing Mon­tana to another busi­nessper­son, Pa­tri­cia Nor­ris, whose Com­muter Trans­port En­gi­neer­ing has for years been get­ting con­tracts from Prasa for, among other things, the re­pair and ren­o­va­tion of Metro­rail train coaches.

Rap­port ear­lier es­tab­lished that Mon­tana, who lives in Pre­to­ria, has for at least the past year been oc­ca­sion­ally stay­ing at the prop­erty in Oran­jezicht.

Ac­cord­ing to records held by the deeds of­fice, the house be­longs to Nor­ris.

Re­spond­ing via SMS, Mon­tana de­nied mak­ing use of the prop­erty. But Rap­port has es­tab­lished that:

Mon­tana pays for work done by a Cape Town busi­ness that pro­vides a weekly gar­den ser­vice at the house;

A lux­ury Mercedes-Benz sports car that Rap­port spot­ted in the house’s garage two weeks ago is be­ing leased to Mon­tana by a com­pany in Gaut­eng; and

A se­cu­rity guard who was pre­vi­ously posted at the house was re­moved abruptly from his post af­ter Rap­port asked Mon­tana about his con­nec­tion with the prop­erty last week. The guard had con­firmed that Mon­tana uses the prop­erty.

Mon­tana in­di­cated that he tried to buy the house in 2012, but the trans­ac­tion fell through be­cause of fi­nan­cial is­sues.

Speak­ing through her lawyer, Nor­ris said she was leas­ing the house to a close cor­po­ra­tion that didn’t dis­close to her who lived in the house.

She de­clined to dis­close the name of the com­pany she is al­legedly leas­ing the house to.

“To re­veal the iden­tity of the ten­ant would amount to a breach of the pro­vi­sions of the lease agree­ment, and in­fringe the ten­ant’s rights. Un­der the cir­cum­stances, we are not able to dis­close the iden­tity of the ten­ant,” Nor­ris’ lawyer, An­ton Slab­bert, said in an emailed re­sponse to ques­tions.

“We can, how­ever, con­firm that Mon­tana is not a mem­ber of the afore­men­tioned close cor­po­ra­tion,” Slab­bert said.

Mon­tana last week said in an SMS: “I do not use any of the prop­er­ties be­long­ing to Pa­tri­cia Nor­ris. I stay in ho­tels when­ever I’m in Cape Town.”

But the com­pany that ren­ders the weekly gar­den ser­vice, Bet­ter Gar­den Ser­vices, has con­firmed that it was con­tracted by Mon­tana.

“All I know is that I ser­vice the gar­den and Lucky Mon­tana pays me. I can’t di­vulge any fur­ther de­tails on this ac­count. I have to be pro­fes­sional,” said Blythe McIn­tosh, owner of Bet­ter Gar­den Ser­vices.

Rap­port sent ques­tions re­gard­ing the gar­den ser­vice to Mon­tana and to two Prasa spokes­peo­ple, Nana Ze­nani and Mof­fet Mo­fo­keng, but had re­ceived no re­sponse at the time of go­ing to press. When Rap­port vis­ited the house last Wed­nes­day and spoke to the se­cu­rity guard, a black Mercedes SL 63 AMG was parked in the garage. The ve­hi­cle is reg­is­tered to Blue Bay 2, a com­pany in Gaut­eng.

Bren­don King, sole di­rec­tor of Blue Bay 2, con­firmed that the com­pany was leas­ing the lux­ury car to Mon­tana. He said he was also aware that Mon­tana had taken the car from Gaut­eng to Cape Town.

Asked about the car, Mon­tana said it was no one’s busi­ness.

“The cir­cum­stances un­der which a hired ve­hi­cle was parked at a house or whether I have been seen en­ter­ing the house is ir­rel­e­vant and has noth­ing to do with you,” Mon­tana wrote in an SMS.

Ac­cord­ing to a pre­sen­ta­tion in March this year by the In­dus­trial De­vel­op­ment Cor­po­ra­tion (IDC), Nor­ris’ com­pany is the first and only com­pany wholly owned by a black woman that was suc­cess­fully con­tracted by Prasa to re­pair and ren­o­vate Metro­rail coaches.

The IDC in 2000 helped to es­tab­lish Com­muter Trans­port En­gi­neer­ing with a loan of R1.5 mil­lion.

Slab­bert strongly de­nied that Nor­ris in any way ben­e­fits from any al­leged links to Mon­tana.

“Our client en­tered the rail in­dus­try many years be­fore Mr Mon­tana joined [Prasa], and our in­struc­tions are that Com­muter Trans­port En­gi­neer­ing has not ex­pe­ri­enced an im­prove­ment in con­trac­tual con­di­tions or busi­ness with Prasa as a re­sult of Mr Mon­tana’s in­volve­ment with Prasa, which ap­pears to be what you are sug­gest­ing,” Slab­bert said.

Last month, Rap­port re­ported that Mon­tana last year sold his house in the Johannesburg sub­urb of Park­wood for R3.4 mil­lion more than the house was val­ued at 10 months ear­lier.

The buyer was a shelf com­pany whose sole di­rec­tor is also an at­tor­ney for se­cu­rity com­pany Siyan­gena Tech­nolo­gies, which was awarded a ten­der worth al­most R3 bil­lion for the in­stal­la­tion and main­te­nance of CCTV cam­eras and equip­ment for con­trol rooms at Prasa train sta­tions shortly af­ter the prop­erty trans­ac­tion was con­cluded.

Lucky Mon­tana

PHOTO: LIZA VAN DEVEN­TER

HIGH LIFE Lucky Mon­tana has been seen stay­ing in this house in Oran­jezicht, Cape Town. A car he rents – a MercedesBenz SL 63 AMG – has also been spot­ted on the prop­erty

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