Outcry as chair of Prasa board kidnapped after hijacking

The Minister says it was intimidation related to state capture…


On Saturday, Gauteng police confirmed that they are investigating the hijacking of Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) board chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama.

Prasa spokesperson Ishmael Mnisi explained that the department was informed that Kweyama was pepper sprayed and thrown into the boot of her car. The hijackers then drove the car around for three hours with Kweyama still trapped in the boot.

The vehicle was abandoned in Katlehong and the chairperson emerged physically unharmed. The incident took place on Thursday but only became public knowledge over the weekend.

Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Noxolo Kweza confirmed the investigation when speaking to News24.

“At this stage, no one has been arrested. Unfortunately, that is all we are prepared to divulge so far as we don’t want to jeopardise our investigations.”

Transport Minister Blade Nzimande was also quick to release a statement condemning the incident.

“This act of violence against the chairperson is a scare and intimidation tactic against the PRASA Board chairperson to defocus her on her enormous work and progress in turning around PRASA together with her board.”

“I will be urgently engaging with PRASA board and management to discuss this matter further. Law enforcement agencies will continue to work hard and leave no stone unturned to arrest all the perpetrators of this senseless act of criminality and sabotage.”

Nzimande insisted that no intimidation or acts of violence will prevent Prasa from investigating maladministration, state capture and corruption in general.

Earlier this year, Prasa was the subject of multiple investigations for dodgy tenders, wasting millions of rands and issues with employees. In February, the agency was ordered to pay R1billion to reinstate around 700 striking workers.

Read: More SOE nightmares as Prasa will pay R1 billion to reinstate dismissed workers

The protected strike took place five years ago but Prasa accused the workers of doing R42m in damages to trains.