Johannesburg – Former Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) boss Lucky Montana has made sensational claims that various transport ministers instructed him to avail transport services for major ANC events without payment.
The Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture has told Montana to avail himself from January 4 to 8 next year to testify after former Prasa board chairperson Popo Molefe implicated him in wrongdoing.
In an explosive statement to the commission, the former group chief executive officer of the state-owned enterprise said the ANC had for many years used Prasa for free transport services. Montana said Prasa had played a role in the ANC’s centenary celebrations in Mangaung in 2012.
“We provided dozens of trains that were staged at the Bloemfontein station. People also used trains to sleep at night,” he said.
“Prasa provided over 200 buses for the event. The buses left a day before the event and collected people, mainly in the Vaal, that were attending the event. Nomvula Mokonyane discussed the plan with me over the phone and her people liaised with Autopax and provided the pick-up points.”
Montana wrote that the governing party had also used Prasa trains and buses for its birthday celebrations in Mpumalanga and the Western Cape in January 2014 and 2015, respectively.
He said he had been called by then transport minister Dipuo Peters, who had said she was under pressure from the party’s preparatory committee organising the event to provide transport.
The ANC had also needed trains from Beaufort West to pick up supporters in Worcester.
“I found this aspect a bit expensive considering that Prasa would have to pay for access and haulage charges to Transnet for the Karoo and Boland train. I had to find a businessman to agree to pay for the costs on behalf of the ANC,” he said.
Montana added that there were other instances when he put his foot down when the costs were too high.
He said he rejected then ANC Youth League treasurer Pule Mabe’s request for trains and buses for the league’s 2011 economic freedom march.
Montana also said he had received a call in 2014 from Peters with a request from ANC Women’s League president and former social development minister Bathabile Dlamini for Prasa to provide buses for a large gathering of traditional leaders to be addressed by former president Jacob Zuma, a request he rejected.
“I had a telephone discussion with the two ministers to discuss my decision. I was told that I was defying the movement. I stood firm and made it clear that Prasa will not provide busses unless government makes upfront payment.”
Mokonyane said she will not comment on a leaked statements. Dlamini did not respond to requests for comment, while Peters could not be reached.
Follow @SundayWorldZA on Twitter and @sundayworldza on Instagram, or like our Facebook Page, Sunday World, by clicking here for the latest breaking news in South Africa. To Subscribe to Sunday World, click here.