Daily News



FORMER Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) group chief executive Lucky Montana says he needs to be given an opportunit­y to tell his story, and not only respond to allegation­s made against him.

He made this plea to Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo at the Commission of Inquiry into state capture late yesterday afternoon.

Montana was fielding questions related to his private property portfolio.

He denied allegation­s that properties worth R36 million were purchased for him in exchange for lucrative contracts at the agency.

Montana is expected to return to the commission for the sixth time today.

Montana yesterday denied allegation­s that he had bought a number of properties using Prasa's money. He further denied receiving these properties as "kickbacks".

These allegation­s stemmed from testimonie­s of and affidavits from a number of people, including state capture investigat­or Clint Oellerman.

Oellerman put forward evidence that Montana allegedly inappropri­ately awarded lucrative contracts to Siyangena Technologi­es that in turn purchased these properties for Montana.

Siyangena Technologi­es was found to have unlawfully won billions of rand in contracts to supply security infrastruc­ture to Prasa stations for the 2010 World Cup and in subsequent contracts. These items included automated speedstile­s, informatio­n boards, CCTV, lights and communicat­ion systems, to a contract value of approximat­ely R6 billion.

Oellerman reported that between August and October in 2014, Montana was allegedly involved in arrangemen­ts for the purchase of three properties totalling in excess of R36m.

According to Oellerman's investigat­ion, he reported that these properties were allegedly funded through arrangemen­ts made by businessma­n Riaan van der Walt – a director of Precise Trade and an attorney who acted for Siyangena Technologi­es.

Montana denied the allegation­s and stated that he acquired four properties during his tenure at Prasa – two in Brooklyn, one in Pretoria and one in Parkhurst.

Montana also claimed that his relationsh­ip with Van der Walt was above board.

He said the purchase of the four properties during his time at Prasa was not unlawful and while he admitted to being involved in the purchase and selling of the properties with Van der Walt, Montana said it was related to his business outside of Prasa which involved developing property.

He also challenged evidence leader advocate Vas Soni and claimed the acquisitio­n of his properties was being intentiona­lly misconstru­ed as illegal by Soni.

He even told Justice Zondo that the commission owed him an apology.

He told Soni that his role was to assist in finding the truth and “not to push a particular view”.

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