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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

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Zondo wants criminal charges opened against former Prasa boss Lucky Montana

PRASA Group Chief Executive Officer Lucky Montana and Senior Vice President of North and Central Europe, Africa ALSTOM Andreas Knitter address the media at PRASA unveiling its new rolling stock fleet renewal of trains to run from 2015 launched at Johannesburg park station yesterday.Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng.

PRASA Group Chief Executive Officer Lucky Montana and Senior Vice President of North and Central Europe, Africa ALSTOM Andreas Knitter address the media at PRASA unveiling its new rolling stock fleet renewal of trains to run from 2015 launched at Johannesburg park station yesterday.Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng.

Published Jun 22, 2022

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The Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has asked the Hawks to speed up investigations into the tender irregularities at Prasa while Lucky Montana was at the helm.

Zondo also recommended criminal prosecutions against Montana and various other executives who allegedly benefited from tenders awarded to various companies by Prasa.

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All these are contained in the final report of the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture which was led by Zondo. Zondo handed his final report to President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday.

He said the National director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) should immediately appoint a team to oversee the investigations and prosecutions of those suspected of committing criminal offences at Prasa.

“Serious consideration should be given to prosecuting the following senior employees who played a role in the award of the locomotives contract to Swifambo, Mr. Montana, Mr Mthimkhulu and Mr Chris Mbatha,” he said.

Zondo also recommended criminal charges against various individuals in the Bid Evaluation Committee (BEC) and those others who engineered or influenced contracts to the fingered companies.

He also recommended that action be taken against several other Board members who were also instrumental in influencing the award of the tender to Swifambo.

Regarding Montana’s property dealings, Zondo said the Hawks should finalise as soon as possible the investigations into the sale by Montana of the Parkwood property to Precise Trade and the assistance that Precise Trade gave to Montana to pay the deposit of the Hurlingham Property and any other properties Montana allegedly acquired.

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“I conclude this report with the following observation. Many, many days of the Commissions hearings were devoted to the allegations of the capture of Prasa and strident denials thereof, especially by Mr Montana.

“However, I am left with the uneasy perception that there is much about the ills of Prasa that has not yet been uncovered,” Zondo said.

In the report, he listed various other individuals who benefited “handsomely” from the Prasa contracts and ordered that action should also be taken against them. ‘I worry that If I don’t make a general recommendation about these matters, it is unlikely that Prasa will recover.

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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 could have benefited from the unacceptable state of affairs," Zondo said

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