Makhosandile Zulu
3 minute read
4 Jan 2021
3:23 pm

Ex-Prasa chief Lucky Montana rails against Zondo commission snub

Makhosandile Zulu

The agency's former CEO says the decision to cancel his testimony is meant to block evidence that is damning to the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.

Former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana. Picture: Christine Vermooten

Former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) chief executive officer Lucky Montana has claimed that the cancellation of his testimony at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture was intended to block evidence which slams the commission “and its preferred witnesses, and ultimately, the entire narrative that we stole or mismanaged public funds as part of the so-called state capture”.

In a statement dated 3 January, Montana said the commission had cancelled his testimony before its chair, Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, which was set for 4 January to 8 January.

“The commission states as its primary reason for its decision that my annexures are either not marked or not numbered or incomplete,” Montana said in the statement.

He added that he had since written to the commission’s secretary, Itumeleng Mosala, to challenge and ask for reasons for the cancellation of his testimony.

“The letter from the commission is based on falsehoods by the commission’s legal team and [its] non-committal on my possible appearance anytime soon or before the commission completes its work.”

Montana said the 31 bundles of documents he had submitted to the commission were clearly numbered, indexed in detail and were linked to the annexure number in his affidavit.

“The commission claims this is not in line with its own ‘practice’, which it has not shared with me.”

Montana also alleged that documents the commission collected from him in 2020, which were later returned, had been tampered with, with some annexures missing.

“The commission analysed the annexures for a full week, noted the damning contents and had to find a reason not to admit my evidence,” Montana said, adding that the reasons raised by the commission of “marking and number” was “frivolous and lousy”.

Montana said he had indicated to that the commission that he should be assisted with adhering to its “practices” and that the commission had not afforded him the “opportunity to correct what is deemed incorrect” but opted to “arbitrarily” cancel his testimony.

“This is a case of the commission elevating a technical point over the more important issue of unearthing evidence that could help the commission to find the truth.”

Montana said he was not surprised by the commission as he had “consistently” said it was biased and “pursuing a predetermined agenda and targeting particular individuals”, individuals who include him.

The commission’s spokesperson, Mbuyiselo Stemela, confirmed that Mosala had written to Montana. However, he said the inquiry did not discuss with third parties its communication with witnesses.

ALSO READ: Ex-Prasa boss accuses Zondo of being ‘biased’

For more news your way, download The Citizen’s app for iOS and Android.