PRASA takes disciplinary action against staff implicated in corruption

Commuter activists welcome “new era of effective, honest, transparent, and decisive governance”

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Photo of burning train
Fire fighters try to extinguish a fire on a Metrorail train in 2017. Security at PRASA has broken down, in large part because of corruption. Archive photo: Ashraf Hendricks

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) has started disciplinary action against several of its senior staff implicated in corruption. This is according to a well-placed source inside the organisation. Commuter activist group #UniteBehind has released a statement confirming the news, and welcoming it.

PRASA is the state-owned company that runs Metrorail.

Charges have been served on Sipho Sithole (Group Chief Strategy Officer), Chris Mbatha (former Chief Procurement Officer), Tumi Mohube (former Company Secretary), David Kekana (former Chief Financial Officer) and Kabelo Mantsane (Head of Security). The company intends to charge four others.

Most of the people charged “have already been publicly implicated in corruption at the rail agency, whether in the Public Protector’s Derailed report, the Auditor-General’s investigations, or the Treasury investigations,” wrote #UniteBehind. “We trust that this action augurs a new era of effective, honest, transparent, and decisive governance at PRASA.”

In November 2017, GroundUp published leaked forensic investigations describing massive corruption at PRASA. (The reports of the investigations, known as #PRASALeaks are available here.) A search through these documents shows numerous mentions of Mbatha’s name, sometimes recommending disciplinary against him. Mantsane’s name also reoccurs throughout the reports.

The name most at the centre of the #PRASALeaks is former GCEO Lucky Montana. After the time the documents were published by GroundUp, Montana described them as “poorly written” with “untested allegations”.

“We call on the Hawks and the NPA to state what they have done with the criminal charges that have already been laid against many of the people mentioned here, and others no longer at PRASA, in particular, former GCEO Lucky Montana,” the #UniteBehind statement said.

Attempts to get official comment from PRASA before publication were unsuccessful.

TOPICS:  PRASALeaks Prasa / Metrorail

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