Former Prasa chief executive officer Lucky Montana appears before Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises in 2018. File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)
Former Prasa chief executive officer Lucky Montana appears before Parliament's Portfolio Committee on Public Enterprises in 2018. File picture: David Ritchie/African News Agency (ANA)

Lucky Montana says he may defy summons from ’biased Zondo Commission’

By Sihle Mavuso Time of article published Apr 6, 2021

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Lucky Montana, the former chief executive of Prasa, says despite being summoned by the Zondo Commission to testify before it on April 16 this year, he may still defy the lawful summons – following in the footsteps of former president Jacob Zuma.

Speaking to Independent Media on Tuesday after news broke that the commission had summoned him, Montana said he felt the summons was an attempt to cover up “real corruption” that took place at the Passenger Rail Association of SA (Prasa), the state-owned company he left in July 2015.

Going back to where it all started, Montana said that in July 2019, as per a call from the ANC that all its members must assist the commission if they had information, he met with their investigators.

He said that after months of waiting, the commission had asked him to submit his affidavit regarding the allegations. The investigators “circled some parts” of it and told him to remove them – but he refused.

The circled parts, Montana claimed, contained information of corruption that was allegedly committed by a controversial minister currently serving in Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet, a former board member of Prasa, a controversial retired executive once named in the alleged Sars “rogue unit” and a top “white-owned” law firm based in Johannesburg.

“I received the latest summons with mixed feelings. I had already taken the decision not to pursue the matter further after the commission, for some frivolous reasons regarding the so-called numbering and marking of my documents, cancelled the hearing of my evidence that was scheduled for January 4-8 2021. I had been in discussion with writers to convert my evidence into books. I think this may be the reason the commission decided to call me. I am still consulting my family and legal advisers on whether or not I should honour the summons from the commission.

“I restate my position that the commission under Deputy Chief Justice RMM (Raymond) Zondo is extremely biased and continues to act in violation of its own terms of reference. It is my considered view that DCJ Zondo has conducted himself in a disgraceful and unprofessional manner. He has aligned himself and the commission to preferred witnesses making false allegations without supporting evidence while protecting the real culprits that collapsed Prasa after I left the public entity in July 2015,” Montana alleged.

He said a decision on whether he would honour the summons or not would be taken in a meeting with his legal team and family over the weekend.

“In essence and considering my engagement with the commission, my commitment to co-operate with the commission and assist it in its work, my draft affidavits and other forms of co-operation and the fact that the commission had previously, on its own, cancelled the hearing of my affidavit, DCJ Zondo and his commission have no legitimate right to summon me. Summons or regulation 10 are issued against persons that refuse to co-operate with the commission or refuse to refuse to reply to rule 3.3 notices. Zondo and his commission should be polite and invite me properly,” he said.

The spokesperson of the commission, Reverend Mbuyiselo Stemela, was asked by Independent Media to comment on the serious allegations made by Montana, but had not done so by the time of publication.

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