Transport minister Fikile Mbalula may have had the best intentions when he fired the useless board at the helm of the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) and replaced it with an administrator in the person of Bongisizwe Mpondo. But those intentions have been tripped up by his cutting corners in the appointment process. For without approval from parliament and the National Treasury, Mpondo’s appointment is null and void.

Mbalula doubtless intended to appoint someone skilled to rescue Prasa, which has all but collapsed because of corrupt political board appointments, and poor decisions on infrastructure investment by managers. But ignoring the law and due process is the single biggest act that will undermine the administrator in his efforts to get Prasa back on track...

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