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Johannesburg - The DA on Monday wants disciplinary action to be taken against Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) employees who allegedly benefited from contracts with the parastal worth over R100 million.

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi reportedly revealed that Prasa employees, and companies linked to them, had benefited from contracts worth this massive amount; the same contracts they were also in charge of awarding.

This was in response to a DA parliamentary question on whether any staff of Maswanganyi's department and each entity reporting to him were awarded any contracts or agreements to conduct business with any state entity between 2015-2017.

The party, in a statement, said the revelations showed a gross abuse of power and said it would write to Maswanganyi asking for action to be taken against those implicated.

“[The DA will] ask that disciplinary hearings be urgently instituted against all employees involved. It is shocking that the minister himself conceded in the response that ‘certain [Prasa] employees were conflicted with regards to certain contracts’.

“Not only did these employees benefit unfairly from these contracts, but it appears that they were also involved in the process of evaluating the awarding of bids - recommending and supporting the appointment of suppliers through confinement processes.”

The DA also called for the instant dismissal of these employees as their actions were in contravention of Section 13 (c) of the Public Service Regulations of 2016, which states that “an employee shall not conduct business with any organ of state or be a director of a public or private company conducting business with an organ of state”.

Furthermore, the party said the contracts should be cancelled and a process instituted to recover the money.

“Public funds that could have been used to uplift millions of impoverished South Africans were shamelessly disbursed to public servants involved in the very tender process themselves.

“This is unacceptable and is a flagrant abuse of the public trust which is placed in employees of the State.”