SowetanLIVE 29 June 2020
Former Passenger Rail Association of SA (Prasa) chairperson Popo Molefe has accused the then ANC top six – whose term of office ended in Nasrec in December 2017 – of failing to act against widespread corruption within the organisation.
Molefe was continuing his testimony before the Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture on Monday. Public hearings were halted in March owing to the coronavirus pandemic.
Molefe revisited evidence he gave in March about a meeting with the ANC top six at the time to alert them to corruption going on at Prasa.
The top six then were Jacob Zuma as president, Cyril Ramaphosa as his deputy, Gwede Mantashe as the secretary-general, deputised by Jessie Duarte, Baleka Mbete as chairperson and Zweli Mkhize as treasurer-general.
Molefe said he tipped them off about corruption that had set in, allegedly under CEO Lucky Montana. They promised to get back to him but never did.
Among the things Molefe had reported was how the Prasa board had picked up corruption in a tender process for the Braamfontein depot modernisation, which amounted to R2bn.
The board, upon picking up irregularities, cancelled the tender process and launched investigations into several other contracts they believed were irregular or fraudulent.
Despite this information, the top six did not do something about the information, alleged Molefe.
Commission chair deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo said it would be interesting to hear from the individual members of the then ANC top six.
“I want to know what they did about what you told them, not from you, of course, because you told me already that they never came back to you,” remarked Zondo. “When they come here I want to know what they did. We are all aware about what is in the public domain about Prasa and other SOEs, and it would appear these things do not start just now.
“And it is only proper that this commission should ask the question to some of these people: where were you and what did you do about this?
“You told the top six and you alerted them and are there no steps that they ought to have taken to make sure that Prasa is not where it is today in terms of its financial position.”
Zondo said the ANC top six, particularly, had enormous power to summon ANC deployees in government, including all ministers and tell them to do right or show them the door if they refused.
Zondo said it was not only the ANC officials who needed to account but also parliament, for having failed in its oversight duties in some of the corruption that took place during the state capture years.