The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) reportedly continues to pay more than R1 million a year for bodyguards to purportedly “protect” its former disgraced CEO, Collins Letsoalo.
The railway agency’s board chairperson, Popo Molefe, expressed shock that the guards had been hired permanently despite giving the green light to their appointments, The Times reports.
According to the report, the guards’ contracts were signed by Prasa human resources head Pearl Munthali, and they are each paid R670 120 a year.
This is despite Prasa having more than 100 of its own security officers who could provide the same service as the guards in question.
They were hired after Prasa security head Mkhuseli Matakata was suspended by Letsoalo in August 2016 for reportedly refusing to approve the assignment of Prasa bodyguards to Letsoalo when he attended a family event in Limpopo in 2016.
Molefe said he was consulted by Letsoalo regarding the bodyguards’ appointment, and told him it should be a temporary measure.
“He had no business to appoint full time people when he knew that he was seconded [to Prasa] for a limited period. [Their appointment] is rubbish. It was not in the company structure. If there was a threat, they should have taken security from inside the company,” he was quoted as saying.
Letsoalo, who was fired earlier this year in February by Prasa’s board for awarding himself a 350% salary increase, denied he was involved in the appointments of the guards. He said they were hired by Prasa’s head of security and Molefe.
He also declined to give details on whether his life was still in danger, saying: “Why don’t you ask Popo Molefe, who signed for their hiring? There’s nothing called ‘wasteful expenditure’.”