Johannesburg - Former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana has lifted a lid on brazen corruption and malfeasance at Prasa where he says he fought toe and nail to resist influence by the controversial Gupta family.
Montana appeared before the Eskom parliamentary inquiry into state capture to protest his innocence after deputy minister of public enterprises Ben Martins linked him to the Gupta family in his testimony.
Montana said he met the Gupta family through Martins, and was disappointed that Martins created an impression that he was the one who introduced Martins to the Guptas.
Montana said: “In his attempt to clear his name and distance himself from the Gupta family, Deputy Minister Ben Martins stated during the media briefing that he had met members of the Gupta family on a few occasions,”
“To my surprise, Martins further stated that one such occasion was when he met members of the Gupta family with Lucky Montana. I got the distinct impression that DM Martins wanted to create the impression that I brought members of the Gupta family to him,” he said.
In his testimony, Montana brought two identifies who were never before mentioned to the committee, Mzwanele Jimmy Manyi who is owner of the Gupta-founded media company ANN7 and then-transport minister Dipuo Peters.
Montana claimed the Guptas were interested in a tender to replace Metrorail's entire fleet of trains, and wanted their aligned China South Rail. He said the Guptas wanted Manyi and two Indian men appointed to the Prasa board, which would make it easier to infiltrate it and secure tenders.
He said they initially failed to dissolve the board but were later assisted by Petres who changed the board. Dipuo Peters and Zweli Mkhize played part in trying to swing locomotives contract, which saw the appointment of Eskom former CEO, Brian Molefe.
“The appointment of the new board of Prasa was therefore agreed to between Minister Dipuo Peters and the former ANC Treasurer-General, Dr Zweli Mkhize. This is what Minister Dipuo Peters kept on saying to S’fiso Buthelezi that he is discussing the new Board with “Luthuli House”,” said Montana.
He said Peters appointed “Popo Molefe” and Willem Steenkamp, the same people she appointed to the Petrosa Board when she was Energy Minister whilst Zweli Mkhize had demanded the appointment of Zodwa Manase.
She was to be in charge of the Audit Committee and Prasa Finances, so that she could manage the flow of money in the business.