To enjoy the full Mail & Guardian online experience: please upgrade your browser
17 Jul 2015 18:56
Former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana.
Montana on Friday described his dismissal as group CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of SA
“grossly unfair and illegal”.
journalists at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Rosebank, Johannesburg, Montana said the
decision to dismiss him had not been unexpected, but implied it was politically
said he had been hurt by the manner in which the board had taken the decision to fire
left the board meeting [on Wednesday] because I got a call to say my uncle has died.
The board was aware of this.
The decision to fire me was taken after I left the
meeting,” said Montana.
The Prasa board, led
by chairperson Popo Molefe, announced on Thursday in a media statement that
Montana has been “released from serving his notice period”.
Montana was due to
the leave the state-owned company in December.
Molefe has maintained that Montana had attacked him and the board in the media.
had previously lambasted the board under Molefe’s leadership for its incompetence and meddling in the operational affairs of the agency.
interview with the Financial Mail in June, Montana said the board was the
biggest threat to the agency.
At issue is the slow pace of Prasa’s
procurement of infrastructure relating to the R51-billion locomotive
“We have the
required skills but I am not convinced that the board will be able to act in
the best interests of Prasa under the chairmanship of Popo Molefe and his modus
operandi of interfering with the business of Prasa,” Montana told the
Montana also accused
Molefe of conducting a clandestine investigation against him relating to the
More recently, Montana rubbished allegations that
were made against the state-owned agency. Last week it was reported that
Prasa’s own engineers had warned in a report that its new Afro 4000 diesel
locomotives, bought from Spain at a cost of R600m, were too tall for existing
Montana this week took some journalists on a ride to prove that the locomotives
were indeed suitable.
Other reports said Prasa had deviated from its payment
schedule in a contract to purchase Spanish locomotives, paying winning consortium
Swifambo Rail Leasing about R40-million more than was stipulated.
Montana said all the allegations were
a ploy to tarnish his reputation, which had made it easy for the board to
terminate his contract. He told journalists that he would provide details behind his dismissal after he has had discussions with the
“Who am I to defy [government] leadership?
I will answer [your questions] next week,” he said.
Create Account | Lost Your Password?