News

PRASA officials implicated in corruption asked to make court submissions.

Written by 

Court rules that a trial isn’t needed, but Lucky Montana and others must have an opportunity to give their side.

Photo of court
The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) argued in court last Wednesday that the matter between PRASA and Siyangena, where PRASA is asking for Siyangena’s contract to be set aside, should not go to trial. Photo: Zoë Postman

The case between Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) and Siyangena Technologies will not be referred to trial. But the PRASA officials accused of corruption in PRASA’s founding affidavit will be allowed to submit affidavits to the court in response to the allegations.

This was in the order handed down by Judge Billy Mothle, Judge Wendy Hughes and Judge Cornelius van der Westhuizen in the Pretoria High Court on Friday morning.

Siyangena, an information technology and security company, was hired in 2010 under PRASA’s former Chief Executive Officer Lucky Montana to improve integrated access security systems at railway stations. PRASA applied to the court to get Siyangena’s contract set aside in March 2018. Commuter activist group #UniteBehind has since joined the case as a friend of the court. The organisation wants Siyangena to be ordered to repay the money it has received, as well as for the contract to be nixed.

In an affidavit submitted to the court, PRASA said Siyangena had been awarded lucrative deals without following proper tender procedures. Siyangena had installed outdated, overpriced and ineffective security systems and because of this, the contract should be set aside, PRASA argued.

According to #UniteBehind, Siyangena’s tenders amounted to about R4.5 billion.

But the judges said the court could not continue with the case because PRASA’s submissions implicated its own officials who were not represented in court. They said those former employees needed to be given an opportunity to present their case in the interest of justice.

Employees implicated included Montana, former project manager Luyanda Gantsho, former chief procurement officer Chris Mbatha, former senior manager in supply chain management Maishe Bopape, former company secretary Tumi Mohube, former chief procurement officer Joseph Phungula and others.

The judges said the case will be postponed until everyone had been given a chance to respond to the allegations. They said all counsels needed to tell the court when they would be available so that the case could continue.

In the meantime, all the implicated people will be notified of the proceedings within ten days.

Article originally written and published by GroundUp