Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, who heads the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA).
Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, who heads the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA).

Zondo commission hears how businessman Roy Moodley tried to bribe former Prasa chair

By Zintle Mahlati Time of article published Mar 13, 2020

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Johannesburg - Former chairperson of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) Popo Molefe has told the Zondo commission about politically connected businessman Roy Moodley's attempts to "capture" him.

Molefe took the stand for a second day on Friday. The commission is currently probing corruption allegations at the Prasa. 

He told the commission that Moodley had made numerous attempts to capture him while he was the head of Prasa's board. Molefe was appointed as board chairperson in 2014. 

The commission has previously heard of Moodley's unusual interest and influence at Prasa. He was connected to a few companies that Prasa had done business with. In one case, Moodley would be seen attending Prasa's work functions and meeting with various managers at Prasa. 

"He owns Prasa", Molefe was told by a Prasa employee.

Molefe detailed how he had been approached by Moodley about attending a golf event he was hosting. Former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana would be in attendance. Moodley said former minister Jeff Radebe and former president Jacob Zuma had accepted an invitation. Molefe said he declined the invitation.

In another "capture" attempt, Molefe said Moodley somehow knew he loved golf and his plans to attend The Masters in Georgia in The USA. He said Moodley then asked if he could join him at the 2015 Masters along with a Spanish business partner of his. He said shortly after Moodley offered to pay for his air tickets and accommodation, which he declined.

Molefe said around the same time, he was told by a colleague that Moodley had been asking for funds from a Spanish company that he was consulting with. Molefe said this alarmed him and he decided that he would no longer attend The Masters and told Moodley.
  
Molefe said he was also concerned that there was a dispute between Prasa and Seyagena, a company which Moodley had an interest in.

Molefe also told the commission that board did not take action against Montana based on the recommendations of the Public Protector's "Derailed" report. He said Montana was no longer an employee once the report was released. The report found various irregularities in the issuing of tenders under Montana's leadership.

The former board chairperson also told the commission that Montana had a close relationship with Radebe, who had previously served as minister of transport. Molefe said this relationship was probably a reason why Montana felt he was untouchable. 

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