Cyril Ramaphosa must fire Dipuo Peters for role in Prasa disaster, group says
#UniteBehind leaders Zackie Achmat and Zukiswa Vuka Fokazi say Peters violated sections of the constitution that set out the responsibilities of cabinet members
Civil society movement #UniteBehind has sent an urgent letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa requesting that he fire small business development deputy minister Dipuo Peters, because of her alleged role in enabling looting at the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) while she was transport minister.
The letter, signed by #UniteBehind leaders Zackie Achmat and Zukiswa Vuka Fokazi, was sent on Wednesday. It alleges that Peters violated sections of the constitution that set out the responsibilities of cabinet members. It says that by failing to ensure the prosecution of corruption at Prasa when she was minister, she also grossly violated her duty as the executive authority responsible for Prasa under the Public Finance Management Act.
Parliament has already suspended Peters following a complaint submitted by #Unitebehind. In January, the High Court dismissed her bid to lift that suspension.
Peters, who is a member of the ANC, was transport minister from 2013 to 2017, during which corruption and maladministration, detailed in the public protector’s 2015 Derailed report, was widespread.
The #UniteBehind letter says it welcomes Parliament’s sanction but it is “wholly inadequate” on its own.
In its 2022 complaint, #UniteBehind alleged that Peters had failed to appoint a group CEO of Prasa when required, irrationally dismissed the Prasa board chaired by Popo Molefe (seemingly because it had uncovered R14m in irregular expenditure), and authorised the use of Prasa buses for ANC events.
In its letter to the president, #UniteBehind says Peters failed to investigate and recover the “proceeds of corruption paid into the ANC accounts through third parties in the Swifambo locomotives case”, referring to the allegation that R80m from the irregular “too tall trains” contract ended up in bank accounts linked to the ANC.
The letter cites a number of reports and investigations into corruption at Prasa, including the Zondo report.
Achmat and Vuka write that the “destruction of the commuter rail system is directly attributable to state capture, corruption, malfeasance, maladministration, fraud and mismanagement which has taken place at Prasa for almost two decades”.
Ramaphosa has been given until February 20 to make this decision.
“If this request is declined, we request justifiable and legal reasons within the same time frame,” read the letter.
Neither Peters nor Ramaphosa responded to requests for comment.
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