JOHANNESBURG - The Democratic Alliance will ask Transport Minister Blade Nzimande to ensure that former acting Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) CEO Collins Letsoalo pays back every cent with interest for his massive 350 percent salary hike, the DA said on Sunday.
Auditor General Kimi Makwetu found that Letsoalo was undeserving of the extremely high raise he give himself, DA spokesman Manny de Freitas said.
"The DA finds it ludicrous that such a large [amount] was apportioned to one individual when it could be channelled towards fixing the rudderless state of the beleaguered entity. It is a well-known scandal that Prasa is struggling under the weight of debt," he said.
This was precisely why Nzimande should ensure that Letsoalo, who was still a member of the Prasa board, repay all the money he unduly awarded himself with added interest.
This proved the DA’s position that the breakdown in the rail system in South Africa was no accident. It was directly due to the rampant corruption and mismanagement by successive ministers and Prasa, De Freitas said.
The DA had always maintained that Prasa was crippled because the African National Congress had used it as a "piggy bank like all other state-owned entities (SoEs)". The ANC kept deploying past and current officials at Prasa who simply did not care about the plight of South Africans.
It was all in Nzimande’s hands now to ensure a disciplinary and investigation was instituted against Letsoalo to find answers as to how this happened despite the courts saying Letsoalo’s conduct was wrong and unethical.
"While millions of South Africans suffer from a broken rail system, Prasa and successive ministers spend their time covering up blatant corruption. The DA will not allow a situation where millions of people are made to endure a terrible service from Metrorail while the minister and Prasa executives dodge accountability," De Freitas said.
African News Agency (ANA)