South Africa - johannesburg - 29 June 2020 - Former Prasa chairperson Popo Molefe appeared before the Zondo commission at the City of Joburg's old council chambers in Braamfontein. The commission last heard testimonies from witnesses in March and was forced to halt hearings because of the national lockdown. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)
South Africa - johannesburg - 29 June 2020 - Former Prasa chairperson Popo Molefe appeared before the Zondo commission at the City of Joburg's old council chambers in Braamfontein. The commission last heard testimonies from witnesses in March and was forced to halt hearings because of the national lockdown. Picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Popo Molefe says he was state capture buster

By Kailene Pillay Time of article published Jul 15, 2021

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Former (Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa) Prasa board chairperson Popo Molefe has maintained that he was a “state capture buster” and at some point returned more than R600 000 that was paid to him, but was not approved by the state-owned enterprise executives.

Molefe was responding to allegations made against him by former Prasa board chairperson, Sfiso Buthelezi, on Thursday.

In an affidavit sent to the State Capture Commission, Buthelezi said Molefe claimed to be state capture buster “but he was no such thing”.

He said Molefe irregularly appointed personal bodyguards for R6 million at Prasa’s expense and was ordered to pay back R680 000 to the entity after he and other directors received an unauthorised remuneration.

Buthelezi also said Molefe was captured by Durban businessman, Roy Moodley.

Buthelezi made the allegations in an affidavit in response to Molefe’s oral evidence tainting him as “weakening the governance” and misleading the board at Prasa.

Molefe told the commission, during a virtual hearing on Thursday, that he did not need validation that he was indeed a state capture buster and that he, himself, was a victim of state capture.

Molefe said it was true that Blackhawk Business Solutions were appointed to provide him security, saying “but they were not appointed by me”.

He said the bodyguards were appointed by Prasa.

“The circumstances were that my life was under threat and we could not rely on security that Prasa employed at that time.

“I personally had no role on who gets appointed,” he said, adding that he was not part of the meeting where the Prasa board approved the appointment.

He also told the commission that it was true that more than R1m was paid to him and other directors as a remuneration. Molefe said he was not in the country at the time the payment was made but when he returned, he queried the payment.

“When I found out that the minister had not approved the payment, I voluntarily paid back the money,” he said.

Molefe said he also encouraged other directors to also pay back the money.

With regards to allegations surrounding Moodley, he said he resisted all attempts by the businessman to capture him.

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