Another court challenge is looming between the minister of transport and the board of the Passenger Rail Agency pf SA (Prasa).
The Citizen understands that Prasa’s board is set to deliver its response to Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi later today.
Maswanganyi wrote to the rail agency’s board two weeks ago asking it to give reasons why its members should stay in office. In his letter, Maswanganyi blamed Prasa’s board for the rail agency’s dismal state of affairs.
But Prasa board chairperson Popo Molefe accused the transport ministry of being disingenuous and a catalyst to the ongoing crisis at the rail agency for failing to endorse the appointment of a permanent CEO – a process that was completed almost a year ago.
Insiders told The Citizen that the decision by Maswanganyi to dissolve the board was a “foregone conclusion” and that he was just following a process to ensure that it is above board.
“The minister has long made up his mind and will act to remove Molefe. It’s a long made decision,” said one insider close to the process.
Another insider said a court challenge was on the cards should Maswanganyi move to dissolve the board a mere five weeks before it finishes its term at the end of July.
“The issues that the minister is dealing with were already dealt with in the last court application which the ministry lost,” the insider said.
Maswanganyi’s predecessor, Dipuo Peters, fired Molefe and his board early in March this year.
In a scathing judgment, the High Court in Pretoria set aside Peters’ decision, saying her decision to fire the board was irrational.