Former minister of transport Dipuo Peters.Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Former minister of transport Dipuo Peters.Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

LIVE FEED: State Capture Inquiry - February 23, 2021

By Siviwe Feketha Time of article published Feb 23, 2021

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Johannesburg - The Zondo commission will continue to hear evidence relating to allegations of corruption at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa), today.

The former minister of transport, Dipuo Peters, is expected to take the stand.

The commission is also due to hear evidence from Prasa legal division head Martha Ngoye, former Prasa board chairperson Dr Popo Molefe and board member Zodwa Manase.

Yesterday, Peters denied accusations that she allowed improper interference and aided state capture at Prasa.

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Peters was testifying before the Zondo commission where she has been implicated by the testimonies of Molefe and others.

Last year, while appearing before the commission, Molefe accused Peters of having frustrated the appointment of a new chief executive, following the departure of Lucky Montana.

Molefe 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.

Montana, in 2018, told Parliament that Peters had sought to frustrate the rolling stock contract that was awarded to the Gibela Rail Consortium.

Peters, however, denied the allegations of inappropriate interference in Prasa’s affairs.

She said it was not true that she had been used to aid state capture or protect those accused of wrongdoing, as Molefe had insinuated.

“I want to indicate, even today, here, that I have never been influenced by anybody to 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 said she was confident that she would never be found to have meddled with the internal processes of any of the 12 state-owned entities which were under the Transport Ministry during her tenure as a minister.

She confirmed that, in 2015, Zuma invited her, Molefe and Montana to discuss Prasa’s affairs, 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 move by Zuma to reverse Montana’s resignation, as that had been approved by the board.

According to Molefe and Peters, the eight-hour meeting 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.

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