Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) board chairperson, Leonard Ramatlakane revealed at a media briefing in Pretoria on Wednesday that 11 PRASA officials have resigned after being implicated in investigations into an R3.5 billion Swifambo locomotives tender while 33 have been suspended.
EWN reports that the contract – to supply locomotives to PRASA – was issued to ANC-linked Swifambo Rail leasing in 2013 when Lucky Montana was still the Chief Executive Officer at the state-owned entity. But the rail agency ended up with trains that did not fit South Africa’s rail specifications
The Supreme Court of Appeal, however found that “the tender was procured through corruption” and that Prasa’s specifications for the new locomotives were “tailor-made for the benefit of Vossloh [Swifambo front company], and thus Swifambo” in November 2018.
Director of the now-liquidated rail leasing company – Auswell Mashaba admitted to state capture commission chairperson, Chief Justice Raymond Zondo last year that he paid the ANC R80 million after securing the R3.5 billion tender from PRASA.
The investigations into the multibillion-rand contract were conducted by the Hawks and the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).
Ramatlakane said at least 44 staff members are implicated in the deal including the 11 that resigned.
“33 of them remerge. All 33 of them as we speak have been suspended and they are going through, each of them, disciplinary proceedings on the basis of the magnitude of the role they play in the awarding of the Swifambo contract,” says acting Chief Executive Officer, David Mphelo.
He added that investigations into 19 of the 33 staff members have been concluded and so far only one person has been fired, with a few having been found not guilty.
Watch the media briefing:
— PRASA Group (@PRASA_Group) July 20, 2022
Picture: @PRASA_Group / Twitter