Former Prasa chairperson Popo Molefe appeared before the Zondo commission at the City of Joburg’s old council chambers in Braamfontein. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
Former Prasa chairperson Popo Molefe appeared before the Zondo commission at the City of Joburg’s old council chambers in Braamfontein. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

LIVE FEED: State capture inquiry - June 30, 2020

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Jun 30, 2020

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Johannesburg - The State Capture Inquiry will continue hearing Prasa related testimony on Tuesday morning.

Former Prasa board chairperson Popo Molefe will continue giving evidence related to corruption allegations he witnessed at the state-owned enterprise. 

On Monday, Molefe told the inquiry how his pleas for the ANC and Parliament to intervene in investigating corruption at the Prasa were ignored. 

Molefe said he first attempted to alert the ANC's top six of corruption allegations at the agency. At the time there were several questionable contracts signed by then Prasa CEO Lucky Montana. He pointed to an attempt by Montana and former board committee chairperson Sifiso Buthelezi to push through a tender worth R2 billion for the modernisation of Prasa's Braamfontein depot. Molefe said the tender was irregularly awarded and the board halted its approval. 

There were also questions over irregular contracts awarded at Prasa, which included the R3.5 billion locomotive contract involving Swifambo Rail Leasing.

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Other contacts of concern involved the modernisation contracts awarded to Siyangena Technologies worth R4 billion. Molefe said he told the ANC's top six about his concerns but the top leadership did nothing about the matter. 

"When I briefed the top six, I showed that our investigation showed that we had been misled on an irregular tender. I also said investigations had been showing massive corruption at the organisation," Molefe told the inquiry,” Molefe said. The former board chairman said he received no response from the ANC leadership regarding his concerns. 

The ANC top six's lack of action on the concerns raised by Molefe raised the ire of the commission's chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. Zondo said he wants the ANC leadership to answer on the lack of action based on the concerns raised.

The chairperson said he was concerned about the actions of leaders who seemed to have done nothing even when they were alerted to corruption. He said this was a matter that Parliament also had to address at the commission.

Molefe also told the inquiry that he wrote to then Parliament speaker Baleka Mbete, in May 2017, alerting her to irregular contracts and the concern that Prasa had yet to appoint a permanent CEO. Molefe said he never received a response about the concerns from Mbete. 

"We had tried everything in the book. We had spoken to ministers and had been to court and we were not getting the help that we needed. We thought Parliament might be interested to know what is happening at Prasa. I was asking for a public inquiry. There has been no response or acknowledgement up until today," Molefe said. 

The inquiry will also hear evidence from Prasa's head of legal Martha Ngoya. An estate agent will also testify and an attorney will also take the stand.

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