LETTER: Come clean on Prasa
Lt-Gen Lesetja Mothiba must order the Hawks to come clean on progress of Passenger Rail Agency of SA probe
The Federation of Unions of SA (Fedusa) calls on Lt-Gen Lesetja Mothiba, the acting national commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), to urgently intervene and order the directorate for priority-crime investigations (Hawks) to come clean about the progress of investigations into alleged corruption at the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa).
On June 19 Hawks spokesman Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed to the United National Transport Union (Untu), Fedusa’s affiliate in the passenger transport sector, that investigations into allegations pertaining to Prasa were continuing, but added that the Hawks were not obliged to go into the details.
Two years have passed since former public protector Thuli Madonsela released her report, Derailed, in which she found evidence of maladministration, improper conduct and nepotism. However, until now no individuals have been brought before the courts.
On June 6 Untu wrote to Mothiba asking him for feedback on the Hawks investigation after the now former Prasa board alleged that the Hawks refused to investigate the allegations. Despite several reminders, Mothiba has not responded to Untu’s letter.
In the most recent turn of events the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse filed an application at the High Court in Pretoria to intervene in a case aimed at prosecuting those who siphoned off about R5.4bn in railway contracts at Prasa. Outa wants the court to compel the Hawks to investigate the alleged corruption at Prasa and wants the court to compel the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to guide the investigations. This truly is a sad day as this is the basis of the constitutional mandate of both the SAPS and the NPA.
The Outa court action comes after outgoing Prasa chairman Popo Molefe had accused former and current transport ministers of undermining the board’s ability to do proper investigations into the Derailed report. It was the board of Prasa that approached the court to successfully set aside the Swifambo contract, amounting to about R2.6bn.
Untu would once again appeal to the SAPS and the NPA to stop undermining public confidence in the criminal justice system by arresting and prosecuting the culprits without the courts having to order them to do so.
Steve HarrisGeneral secretary, Untu