Prasa suspends one exec, puts 3 more on special leave

Prasa spent millions on purchasing 2,000 solar lights to protect its depots. At most only 24 of them were ever put to use, according to a forensic report. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks

The Prasa board says it has decided to act on allegations of impropriety and the implicated executives will get a chance to answer to these.

The Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) today said it had suspended an executive and put on special leave three top executives, including the company secretary Lindikaya Zide and chief information officer Chris Mbatha, over allegations of impropriety.

Over the past few years, Prasa has been dogged by allegations of improper, irregular, corrupt, fruitless and wasteful expenditure by various employees at all levels of the organisation.

These allegations are contained in various reports that have been produced after investigation by appropriately qualified and experienced professionals, and have been submitted to the board of control.

In a statement, Prasa said the board has decided to act on these allegations and to afford the implicated employees their right to answer to these allegations, and thus they will appear before an independent trier of facts and answer to the allegations.

Tara Ngubane, the chief executive of Prasa corporate real estate solutions, was also put on special leave and Tumi Mohube, the general manager for enterprise risk, was suspended.

Dr. Nkosinathi Sishi, who was appointed the group chief executive two weeks ago, said: “The suspension or putting on special leave of four executives is to ensure a fair process based on a principle of innocent until proven guilty”.

Prasa board chairperson, Khanyisile Kweyama, said the work that is being undertaken by the board in this regard was to ensure that allegations of conduct that fails to meet the standard that will improve the travel experience of commuters and passengers was dealt with decisively.

“The extent of improper, fruitless and wasteful expenditure that is reported by various independent professionals shows a disturbing culture of impunity which has to be stemmed at once,” Kweyama said.

African News Agency (ANA)

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