JOHANNESBURG – Collins Letsoalo, former acting chief of Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa), will on Monday break his silence about allegations that he had been asked to pay back the monies he earned after he allegedly hiked his salary by 350 percent when he was at the helm of the troubled rail agency.
This comes after the Sunday Times retracted its story "Pay it back, AG tells Prasa's 350% boss" and apologised to Letsoalo on Sunday for reporting in June that the Auditor-General had recommended that he should repay all the money he awarded himself by allegedly hiking his salary 350 percent.
The Auditor-General has categorically denied that it issued any such "special report" about Letsoalo.
The newspaper had reported that Letsoalo irregularly gave himself a massive pay increase in October 2016, taking his salary from R1.3 million a year to R5.9 million after he was seconded to Prasa from the Department of Transport in July 2016 where he was chief executive of the Road Traffic Management Corporation.
Letsoalo ended up being fired in February 2017 by the board of Prasa.
But in a turn of events, the Sunday Times published an apology to Letsoalo and sent him a letter of apology saying that it did not take reasonable steps to authenticate the alleged Auditor-General report in its possession. This is after the Press Ombudsman under the Press Council ruling that the report was flawed following Letsoalo's complaint.
"We accept that the report was unfair, misleading and false, as the press ombudsman found," the newspaper said.
In a terse statement, Letsoalo said he would address matters related to whether his salary was irregular and who knew about it; including criminal charges of perjury against the former board chairperson, Popo Molefe.
He said he would also address documentation that was forged and purportedly from the Auditor General's office, and who would have benefited from his eventual removal as acting chief executive of Prasa after he was tasked to clean up at the entity.
Letsoalo also indicated that he might be taking further legal action against entities and certain individuals. He will be addressing the media at midday on Monday in Pretoria.
African News Agency (ANA)