Prasa train

Photo: GCIS

Prasa corruption the subject of new Special Investigating Unit probe

Prasa’s conduct between 2010 and the present will be investigated by the SIU after a special order from President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Prasa train

Photo: GCIS

President Cyril Ramaphosa has officially tasked the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) with looking into contracts and payments made by the Passenger Rail Agency (PRASA) with a view to uncovering corruption and recovering money lost.

SIU tasked with investigating corruption at Prasa

The probe was revealed by a Government gazette published by Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola and will cover the period from 1 January 2010 to the present.

This will include the much-publicised purchase of Spanish Afro 4000 trains in 2014 which turned out to be too tall to use South Africa’s existing rail infrastructure.

The nine-year period being covered by the probe will examine the tenures of five different Chief Executive Officers including Tshepo Montana (2010-2015), Collins Letsoalo (2016-2017), Zide Lindikaya (2017), Molepo Cromet (2017-2018), and Sihole Sibusiso (2018-current).

“I deem it necessary that the said allegations should be investigated and civil proceedings emanating from such investigation should be adjudicated upon,” Ramaphosa said in a statement.

President Cyril Ramaphosa

Details of the investigation

The SIU has been tasked with investigating the following:

  • Serious maladministration in connection with the affairs of PRASA
  • Improper or unlawful conduct by employees or officials of the PRASA
  • Unlawful appropriation or expenditure of public money or property
  • Unlawful, irregular, or unapproved acquisitive act, transaction, measure or practice having a bearing upon State property Intentional or negligent loss of public money or damage to public property
  • Anything that falls foul of Chapter 2 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act and which offences were committed in connection with the affairs of PRASA
  • Unlawful or improper conduct by any person, which has caused or may cause serious harm to the interests of the public

Specifically, the procurement of or contracting for Prasa will be investigated in the following areas:

  • Security services
  • General overhaul and upgrade services
  • Works or services in respect of systems overhauling, repair of rails and infrastructure, or maintenance through the implementation of the Supplier Development Programme
  • An advanced early detection cable theft solution in the Bonteheuwel-Phillipi Corridor in the Western Cape
  • Travel management services
  • Supply of mobile transporters
  • Forensic services, by or on behalf of PRASA and payments which were made in respect thereof in a manner that was
  • Not fair, equitable, transparent, competitive or cost-effective
  • Contrary to applicable legislation, manuals, guidelines, practice notes, circulars, or instructions issued by the National Treasury
  • Any related unauthorised, irregular, or fruitless and wasteful expenditure incurred by PRASA or the State.
  • Any unlawful or improper conduct by the employees or officials of PRASA or the applicable service providers, or any other person or entity in relation to the allegations set out in paragraph 1 of this Schedule.