File image: Lucky Montana. (File picture: Willem Law/ANA).

CAPE TOWN - Former Prasa CEO, Lucky Montana allegedly used funds from controversial contracts worth R4 billion for his R13.5 million property, reports News24. 

This comes after funds from Portuguese businessman, Mario Ferreira reportedly came into the possession of Montana who then purchased a 6 000m2 property in Hurlingham, Johannesburg. 

The property was reportedly paid for by third parties, connected to Ferreira. 

The Hurligham property which was transferred to Montana’s name in July 2015 was earlier paid for by two payments, one of R2 million and another of R11.5 million. 

One of the payers was a trading company owned by Pretoria laywer, Riaan van der Walt. His company paid R2 million towards the Hurlingham home. 

R11.5 million investment

In May 2015, a company called Midtownbrace paid R11.5m towards the Hurlingham deal. 

Midtownbrace is owned by KZN businessman Andre Wagner and his father. 

Wagner reportedly said that the R11.5 million was an investment for a property development. 

Meanwhile, Montana reportedly refuted these claims and said his relationship with Van Der Walt had nothing to do with any Prasa contractor. 

In other Montana news, the former CEO appeared before the Eskom Inquiry in January this year. 

He was accused of meeting with the Gupta family and Duduzane Zuma over a R50bn tender to procure trains.

In a shocking claim, Montana stated that he was subjected to a vicious campaign, where he was followed and had his house broken into three times. 

He also stated that there was a plan to change the board of the rail company during a procurement process, after the Guptas had failed to secure a tender for China South Rail.

 "The Guptas pushed for the dissolution of the PRASA Board and my dismissal as Group CEO. They pushed the Department of Transport to appoint a new Board," Montana said at the inquiry.

The inquiry heard claims from Montana, that Deputy Public Enterprises Minister Ben Martins tried to protect his own name at his expense, by creating an impression that Montana was the person who arranged a meeting between him, the Guptas and Duduzane Zuma in September 2012. “This is a man I have huge respect for, I could not believe that at a media briefing, he tried to protect his own name at my expense,” said Montana. He further added that he was testifying to set the record straight. 

Montana later claimed that they the Guptas and Duduzane Zuma tried to force him to give them a R50 billion train tender.

Montana told Parliament that powerful politicians in the ANC tried to get him to give them a 10% slice of one of the tenders.

But Montana denied to the inquiry into state capture that he was a bitter man who wanted to tarnish the image of big players in the country.

He reiterated his stance that Deputy Minister of Public Enterprises Ben Martins had introduced him to the Guptas in 2012, but he had blocked the family from getting tenders irregularly.

Montana denied he was corrupt and refuted allegations of acquiring many properties through dubious means.

Montana said he did not know the Guptas until they were introduced to him by Martins in 2012, when he was transport minister.

“The minister introduced me to Tony Gupta and Duduzane Zuma. He said the reason these people wanted to meet me was because they were interested in the Prasa rolling stock,” said Montana.

Montana also accused Salim Essa of taking bribes from international suppliers vying for the contract. Essa had convened a meeting with the suppliers in Zurich.

He said he was angry with the conduct of the Guptas.

“I told them you are not working for the government and you have no right to collect money.

"We fought in that meeting and, of course, Tony Gupta and Duduzane were shameless. They said, 'Lucky you won’t be in Prasa for a long time,'” said Montana.

“Members of the Gupta family said to the minister (Martins) that we told you we don’t want Lucky (because) he is not co-operating,” he said.

Montana also said the Guptas gave him the names of Essa and another associate to serve on the tender committee at Prasa, but he rejected this.

Attempts were also made to change the Prasa board because of the stonewalling.

Montana also brought the ANC into the picture, saying he had blocked attempts by former treasurer-general Zweli Mkhize to get 10% of the R465million from the contract given to one company.

The ANC has denied receiving any money from the Prasa deals. Former ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe denied at the time that the party received any funds related to the locomotives tender.

Montana said there was another group of black businessmen that wanted the locomotives' tender.

They met him in Pretoria where they brought in a large Chinese delegation.

“The Gupta thing shows how things can go horribly wrong,” said Montana. He also said he was subjected to harassment by intelligence operatives and Prasa spent R200m on investigating him.

The Transport Department in Parliament last year revealed that a forensic investigation had cost close to R200m.

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