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ANC top six’s ‘lack of action’ on Prasa corruption claims a concern for Zondo

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Former board chairperson Popo Molefe said he told the ANC leadership about his concerns about corruption at Prasa but nothing was done

File picture: Thobile Mathonsi / African News Agency (ANA) Archives

THE ANC top six’s possible failure to act on corruption allegations at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has come under scrutiny at the Zondo Commission.

On Monday, the commission resumed hearing evidence on corruption allegations at Prasa with the state-owned enterprise’s former board chairperson Popo Molefe taking the stand.

Molefe was resuming evidence he had begun presenting in March before the commission went into a break because of the Covid-19 lockdown. 

Molefe said he had brought his concerns about the corruption allegations at Prasa to the ANC’s top six during a meeting in 2016.

At the time Molefe had instituted investigations into contracts awarded at the rail agency. He was concerned about a contract the board was being pressured to rubber stamp which involved a railway project in Braamfontein. The contract was worth R2 billion and former Prasa chief executive Lucky Montana had lied about a report linked to the contract, Molefe told the inquiry.

Molefe said he told the top six about his concerns about corruption at Prasa but nothing was done on the matter. He said when he met with the ANC leadership, concerns about corruption at Prasa were well documented in the media.

“When I briefed the top six, I showed that our investigation showed that we had been misled on an irregular tender. I also said investigations had been showing massive corruption at the organisation,” Molefe told the inquiry.

The ANC top six’s apparent lack of action on the concerns raised by Molefe raised the ire of the commission’s chairperson, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. 

Zondo said he wants the ANC leadership to answer on the lack of action based on the concerns raised.

The chairperson added that he was concerned about the actions of leaders who seemed to have done nothing even when they were alerted to corruption concerns. He said this was a matter that Parliament also had to address for the commission.

“I want to know what they (ANC top six) did after you told them. When they come here I want to know what they did about that. We know what has been said in the public domain about SOEs. It would appear that these things don’t start right now and that they started a long time ago. It would be good to know what they did, where and if they had a responsibility for what they had to do. Accountability is important. Where was Parliament when all these allegations were happening?”

The inquiry continues.