Africa

Zondo calls for new inquiry into how SA’s passenger rail was left on brink of collapse | Fin24



Former Passenger Rail Agency of SA CEO, Lucky Montana, seems earlier than a parliamentary inquiry into state seize in 2018.

Photo: Gallo Images/Esa Alexander

  • Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has referred to as for a brand new inquiry into the “sorry state” of SA’s passenger rail company. 
  • In his ultimate state seize report, Zondo referred to as for police to probe Prasa’s former CEO, Lucky Montana. 
  • But regardless of spending weeks listening to testimony concerning the state of Prasa, Zondo says a lot has remained hidden. 

The ultimate report of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has advisable {that a} new probe be instituted to resolve why SA’s state-run passenger rail company was allowed to “slide into almost total ruin”. 

Despite dedicating 250 pages to wrongdoing and failures on the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), fee chair Chief Justice Raymond Zondo stated that “much about the ills at Prasa has not yet been uncovered”.

“I worry that if I do not make a general recommendation about these matters, it is unlikely that Prasa will recover.”

Zondo handed over components 5 and 6 of the state seize report back to President Cyril Ramaphosa on Wednesday.  

“Having given anxious consideration to the issues, I have decided that a special commission of inquiry be appointed to examine specifically the following matters: why Prasa was allowed to slide into almost total ruin, who should be held responsible for that and who cold have benefitted from that unacceptable state of affairs,” he stated. 

Shady contracts 

Much of the testimony associated to Prasa, heard throughout the inquiry, concerned two controversial contracts that the rail group entered into with corporations Swifambo and Siyangena.

The Swifambo contract, concluded in March 2013, entailed buying 70 locomotives from an organization referred to as Swifambo Rail Leasing for R3.5 billion. 

Zondo concluded that Swifambo contact was “so flawed” that it should have been obvious to “any reasonable person” that it was corrupt proper from the beginning. The contact was halted by a excessive court docket software and the corporate later liquidated. 

The Siyangena contract refers to a young gained by digital safety programs group Siyangena Technologies to put in built-in safety programs at rail stations. The preliminary price range for the contract was R517 million, however later ballooned after it was prolonged. The contract was set aside by a high court ruling in October of 2020

While the Hawks are already investigating the Siyagena and Swifambo contracts, Zondo urged the president to take steps to make sure that they be finalised as quickly as doable.

He additionally requested that the National Director of Public Prosecutions instantly begin placing collectively groups to prosecute wrongdoers. 

The chief justice additionally advisable that quite a few high officers and members of the Prasa’s former board be investigated, together with its former CEO Lucky Montana. 

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