The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) is looking into the allegation that a security company, which appeared to be untraceable, had been paid R118 million between 2010 and 2016 by the state entity.
News website GroundUp reported this week that Changing Tides 208 (Pty) Ltd is not registered with the Private Security Industry Regulatory Authority.
Prasa spokesperson Nana Zenani said the utility was dealing with several queries about the allegation and would issue a statement by next Wednesday. The company’s contract with the embattled utility was one of 193 contracts with Prasa between 2012 and 2016, 16 of which were with security companies that were investigated by audit firms commissioned by National Treasury.
Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance (DA) yesterday filed criminal charges against Deputy Minister of Finance Sfiso Buthelezi and the former chair of the Prasa board and former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana following the leaked report on that investigation.
The findings, read together with the 2015 public protector’s Derailed report, detailed instances of possible offences in terms of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, Public Finance Management Act and Supply Chain Management Rules.
Manny de Freitas, the DA spokesperson on transport, said the party would monitor the SA Police Service investigation.
“Buthelezi and Montana need to account for corruption that took place under their watch,” he said.
“South Africans need answers on why no one has been held accountable when there is clear evidence of gross abuse of taxpayer funds.”
Prasa has appointed its third acting group CEO in two years, Cromet Molepo, who, according to earlier media reports, was suspended by KwaZulu-Natal’s Umgeni Water after being linked to allegations of financial misconduct.