A lot of Tuesday’s testimony on the State Seize Fee targeted on a key problem: Why did the Passenger Rail Company of South Africa not change Group CEO Fortunate Montana instantly after he left the company? Former transport minister Dipuo Peters and ex-board chairperson Popo Molefe say the opposite is responsible.
The State Seize Fee heard on Tuesday 23 February that following the resignation of Fortunate Montana from the Passenger Rail Company of South Africa (Prasa), there was no one to interchange him. Since Montana’s departure in 2015, Prasa has not had a everlasting group chief government officer (GCEO).
Montana had been GCEO on the state rail company till he resigned in spectacular vogue in 2015. However, earlier than the fee, each former transport minister Dipuo Peters and former board chairperson Popo Molefe claimed the delay to nominate a brand new GCEO was as a result of different particular person.
Peters took the stand on Tuesday morning, to proceed her testimony from Monday.
Prasa proof chief for the fee, advocate Vas Soni, informed Peters that Molefe had testified that Peters had “annoyed” the board’s course of to nominate a brand new GCEO.
“I didn’t frustrate the method,” she stated, and informed the fee that she had been engaged on hiring a alternative for Montana.
After Montana left Prasa, Nathi Khena was appointed as appearing GCEO between July 2015 and June 2016. Then, Collins Letsoalo was appointed between June 2016 and March 2017. He was adopted by Lindikhaya Zide – Prasa’s firm secretary was appointed by the board to be appearing GCEO in March 2017.
Peters informed the fee she had been involved by Zide’s appointment. When requested by Soni how an organization secretary could possibly be appointed as an appearing GCEO, Peters stated, “The perfect particular person to ask [about] that is Mr Molefe.”
Peters informed the fee Molefe had stated Prasa was not prepared for a brand new GCEO.
Within the afternoon session, Molefe returned to the stand for the third time. Molefe stated Montana had been tasked with discovering a “expertise search firm” to begin the recruitment course of for his alternative. In keeping with Molefe, Montana was comfortable to “help the board in figuring out his successor”. Nevertheless, when Montana left in July 2015, he had not discovered a expertise search firm.
Molefe stated that solely in January 2016 – virtually six months after Montana left – had the board discovered a recruitment company.
However when Soni requested if Prasa had “no captain of the ship,” Molefe stated the board had given three names of potential GCEOs for Peters’ consideration. This included motivations and CVs for every candidate – however Peters was the reason for the delay.
Molefe admitted that the board had been prepared to increase Montana’s contract with a view to discover a alternative, as they’d “not but” been conscious of the allegations towards Montana.
Fee chair Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo had questions for Molefe.
Zondo requested why, if the board knew for six months that Montana could be leaving, was there no rush to discover a alternative. As well as, Zondo requested if it was not the “obligation of the board to make up its thoughts” – to both discover a recruitment company or to discover a alternative for Montana.
Molefe stated the board had written to Peters in Could 2016 to say the appointment of a brand new GCEO was pressing.
In closing, Zondo requested how may Prasa – which was essential to the financial system, however riddled with allegations of corruption and confronted with irregular expenditure – be allowed “to not have a everlasting GCEO? How is that this doable?”
Since Montana left the company in 2015, Prasa has not had a everlasting GCEO. Thandeka Mabija is the appearing GCEO till a everlasting candidate is appointed.
On Wednesday, proof associated to Prasa will proceed. Soni stated proof associated to the Swifambo deal might be heard.
Proof might be heard from an investigator and a liquidator. Swifambo director Auswell Mashaba has had a summons issued towards him, stated Soni. Nevertheless, on Monday 15 February, Mashaba’s attorneys wrote to the fee to say the summons was faulty and irregular, and based mostly on this, Mashaba wouldn’t seem.
Soni informed Zondo the fee’s authorized group had despatched a letter to Mashaba’s attorneys to say they might apply to put aside the summons, however till then, the summons was legitimate. Soni stated the fee’s authorized group had not obtained a response.
Soni stated he hoped “good sense prevails” and Mashaba seems on Wednesday. DM