Former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana laid fraud and criminal charges at the Hillbrow police station against a number of Prasa executives.
JOHANNESBURG – Former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana believes the public protector’s report into allegations of maladministration and tender irregularity at the agency will vindicate him.
Montana spoke to eNCA.com ahead of the release of the report on Monday.
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela has looked into claims of maladministration and corruption dating back to 2009.
The rail commuter agency has recently been rocked by scandals surrounding the R600-million train acquisition. It&39;s alleged that the trains were unsafe for use on the South African rail network.
Montana and the agency have vehemently denied these allegations. Prasa has imported 13 diesel locomotives from Spain so far, and is awaiting the arrival of seven more diesel trains.
Another 50 hybrid trains – diesel and electric – will be delivered at a later stage.
Although Madonsela’s investigation does not relate to the train debacle, its release comes just weeks after Montana was released from Prasa by the agency’s board.
The report was initially expected to be released last month but was delayed, allegedly because Montana failed to inform current and former staff of its findings.
Last month, Prasa announced that Montana would leave his position eight months before the end of his contract.
Montana resigned in June and would have left Prasa in March next year, but the Prasa board decided he should leave in the middle of last month.
Prasa chief engineer Daniel Mthimkhulu has been charged with fraud for allegedly faking his qualifications. He is out on bail and is due to appear in court on Tuesday.
While Madonsela’s report does not relate to the allegations surrounding the locomotives or Mthimkulu’s lack of qualifications, it could answer important questions about the general management of the state-owned enterprise, which has been entrusted with hundreds of millions of rands for the expansion of South Africa’s rail network.
Speaking to eNCA.com, Montana said he was "looking forward" to Madonsela’s report.
“It is very important to note that the investigation is about Prasa not Lucky Montana. There were many allegations made against various things that didn’t go right. Prasa is a big organisation and the different allegations were about Prasa, not about me,” he said.
Montana responded to a number of the allegations during his tenure as CEO, and believes his responses to the public protector will vindicate him.
“Some people are saying there are acts of corruption on my part. The specific issue that was being raised about me – allegations that I was involved in corruption. Let me tell you that I’m confident, I’ve looked at the facts. Not only was there no corruption, but the very people who raised these issues could not substantiate them,” he said.
“I’ve made choices as CEO and I stand with those decisions. All of them were lawful decisions. Somebody may be unhappy because their friends or their company didn’t win (a tender), but that doesn’t make the decision unlawful,” Montana said.
“Those who dream that public protector report will deliver my head, they will be disappointed. I don’t think I can ever be accused of any corruption,” he said.
The report is due to be released at 2pm and eNCA will carry the event live on television and on this website.