‘Too many’ rail probes
There were so many investigations by different service providers into corruption at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) that government could not keep track, Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi told MPs yesterday.
“There are so many investigations, some we don’t even know what they are doing,” Maswanganyi said while briefing parliament’s portfolio committee on transport, which has been tasked with probing allegations of state capture at Prasa, the state-owned rail agency.
Without going into specifics, the minister said reports by National Treasury and private attorneys were still outstanding on investigations as ordered by former public protector Thuli Madonsela, after finding former Prasa chief executive Lucky Montana and officials guilty of financial mismanagement.
The appointment of Werksmans Attorneys, appointed by the former Prasa board, led to a heated debate between the minister, his colleagues in the ruling ANC and opposition Democratic Alliance MP Manny de Freitas.
De Freitas defended the appointment of Werksmans, saying while the bill for the private firm’s services was R148 million and counting, it was justified as it had recovered at least R2 billion following its probe and was a “good return”.
Maswanganyi rubbished this. “There is no R2 billion that has been recovered. There is no cover up”,
Maswanganyi said a turnaround plan had been crafted and will be provided to parliament. – ANA