Court orders transport ministry to reinstate Molefe immediately

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File: The North Gauteng High Court will hear the former Prasa board chair's application for an urgent court interdict against the transport minister.

PRETORIA - Ousted Prasa board Chairman Popo Molefe on Monday won his bid to get his job back.

The North Gauteng High Court has set aside then Transport Minister Dipuo Peters' decision to fire Molefe and his board members.

Molefe approached the courts claiming Peters didn’t follow proper procedure when she fired the board.

 

The court has now ordered the transport minister to reinstate Molefe and the other board members immediately.

The controversy around Collins Letsoalo's salary increase opened a can of worms at the country’s rail agency.

In February newspapers reported that Letsoalo hiked his pay from R1.3-million to almost R6-million per annum after he was made acting Prasa CEO.

The  board claimed that it had been bypassed when this happened, and fired him.

Transport minister at the time, Dipuo Peters, intervened and said there was nothing untoward about the increase.

She said that the spat between Letsoalo and the board had contributed to a deteriorating state of affairs at  the agency.

She then dissolved the board and put an interim one in place.

This didn’t go down well with board Chairman Popo Molefe.

Convinced the minister's decision to fire his team was irrational, Molefe approached the North Gauteng High Court.

“It is hereby ordered that the first, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh respondent be reinstated...The first respondent is hereby order to pay the costs of this application, I hereby hand down the judgment,” said Judge Peter Mabuse of the North GAuteng High Court on Monday.

Representatives of the transport ministry did not say if an appeal would follow.

“Further action from our side will be done after we have detailed and studied this court judgement,” said Transport Department Spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi.

Peters  was fired in the recent Cabinet reshuffle.

It's now up to new Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi to re-instate Popo Molefe and his team and to ensure good governance at the parastatal.

Ulrich Roux from BDK Attorneys highlighted the importance of the North Gauteng High Court ruling in reinstating the Prasa board.

Click on the above video to see the full analysis.

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