Former minister Dipuo Peters grilled on alleged interference at Prasa
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Johannesburg 0150 Former transport minister Dipuo Peters has moved to distance herself from allegations of improper interference and aiding of state capture at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).
Peters was yesterday on the stand before the Zondo commission where she had been implicated by testimonies of former Prasa board chairperson Popo Molefe, among other witnesses.
Last year while appearing before the commission, Molefe accused Peters of having frustrated the appointment of a new chief executive at Prasa following the departure of Lucky Montana as chief executive.
Peters, however, moved to flatly deny any allegations of inappropriate interference in the affairs of Prasa.
She said it was not true she had been used to aid state capture or protect those accused of wrongdoing, as Molefe insinuated.
“I want to indicate even today here that I have never been influenced by anybody to either determine tenders. Both Molefe and later probably Montana would indicate that I have never participated in processes, in tenders in any of their establishments or even in Prasa itself,” Peters said.
Peters stressed she was confident she would never be found to have meddled with the internal processes of any of the 12 state owned entities (SOEs) which are under the transport ministry during her tenure.
Molefe also told the commission how former president Jacob Zuma tried to lobby for Montana to be reinstated during a clandestine meeting which was also attended by Montana, Peters and former minister Jeff Radebe at the Sefako Makgatho presidential guest house in Pretoria.
Peters confirmed she, Molefe and Montana were in 2015 invited by Zuma where they discussed the affairs of Prasa, including Montana’s departure after she had told Zuma about the resignation.
Peters however said she did not get the impression that there was a deliberate push by Zuma to reverse Montana’s resignation, which had already been approved by the board.
According to Molefe and Peters, the almost eight-hour meetings ended inconclusively due to Zuma’s exhaustion as he slept.
“Everybody has got the right to draw his or her own impression of what the objective was, probably because of the president (Zuma) calling Montana into the meeting who was now an ex-CEO. He might have had the impression that that meeting would result in Lucky returning,” she said.
Molefe and Prasa head of legal Martha Ngoye were also scheduled to take the stand before the commission on Monday.