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Former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana accuses Zondo commission of lying to derail his testimony

Former Prasa Chief Executive Officer Lucky Montana. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Former Prasa Chief Executive Officer Lucky Montana. Picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Jan 4, 2021


Durban - The former chief executive of Prasa, Lucky Montana, has accused the Zondo commission, which is probing allegations of state capture, of opting for falsehood to derail his much-awaited testimony.

His accusations came as he was expected to begin his five days of “explosive” testimony on Monday. But he was, on the eleventh hour, told by the commission’s secretariat, led by Professor Itumeleng Mosala, that it has been canned.

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In a statement, Montana alleged the secretariat told him his annexures were either not marked or numbered or incomplete, but he vehemently disputed that. According to him, that reason was a mere smokescreen and he has since filed a challenge against the decision.

He angrily said the commission did not allow him to correct what it deemed incorrect but chose instead, arbitrarily, to cancel hearing his evidence. Montana said the commission elevated a technical point over the more important issue of unearthing evidence that could help it “to find the truth.”

“The letter from the commission is based on falsehoods by the Commission’s legal team and it is non-committal on my possible appearance any time soon or before the Commission completes its work.

“The decision is aimed at blocking these annexures from being admitted as evidence by the commission because these are damning on the commission itself, its preferred witnesses, and ultimately, the entire narrative that we stole or mismanaged public funds as part of the so-called State Capture.”

Furthermore, he claimed he submitted 31 bundles of documents which were clearly numbered, each described in detail in the index and linked to the annexure number in his affidavit. Montana said the commission claimed this was not in line with its own “practice”,  which it has not shared with him.

“The commission collected documents from my home on 8 December 2020. A week later, I received a call informing me that my annexures will be returned and these were delivered when I was not home. When I returned and checked the documents, I found these had been tampered with, copies made and brought back with some of the annexures missing.

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“The commission analysed the annexures for a full week, noted the damning contents and had to find a reason not to admit my evidence. The marking and numbering of documents was the only reason the commission could find. It is frivolous and lousy.”

The commission's spokesperson, Reverend Mbuyiselo Stemela confirmed that they have written to Montana but did not disclose what they said to him.

"The commission confirms that the secretary of the commission has written to Mr Montana, and the answers to the questions are written in the letter sent to him. The commission does not discuss communication between the commission and its witnesses and you may contact Mr Montana directly to provide you with the letter as he is the one who shared the information with the media. The commission always issues media advisory to inform members of the media and public about its proceedings," Stemela said.

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