Prasa Rail acting CEO suspended pending investigations

Prasa Rail acting CEO suspended pending investigations.
Prasa Rail acting CEO suspended pending investigations.
Image: MARK ANDREWS

Mthuthuzeli Swartz was removed as acting CEO of Prasa Rail on Tuesday after the interim board deemed his continued leadership “too much of a risk”.

“We served Mr Swartz with a letter on Tuesday informing him that he has been removed [as acting CEO of Prasa Rail]‚” said Lindikaya Zide‚ company secretary at Prasa.

Zide said the letter was served at the request of Prasa’s former board of control‚ which “deemed it too much of a risk to have a CEO who the insurers refused to insure”.

According to Zide‚ the insurers excluded Swartz from the Directors’ and Officers’ liability cover‚ seeing him as too much of a risk.

Zide explained that executives at Prasa all have insurance “as cover for negligent decisions that can arise in the execution of a decision”. He said this helps to protect the agency from potential financial blows arising from negligent decisions.

Swartz will revert back to his role as Executive Manager of Mainline Passenger Services (MLPS) at Prasa. He has denied any wrongdoing.

On Thursday night Transport Minister Blade Nzimande appointed a new Prasa board “to serve an initial period not exceeding twelve months”.

The chairperson of the board is Khanyisile Kweyama‚ who took over as board chairperson at the South African Broadcasting Association (SABC) in March 2017.

IOL reported in September 2017 that Kweyama and her interim board were instrumental in helping the SABC recover after the censorship debacle and parliamentary inquiry that shook the public broadcaster from mid-2016 to 2017.

Dr Simo Lushaba was appointed as the new acting group CEO of Prasa.

“I ensured that only people with expertise‚ experience and integrity serve in these vital positions‚” said a statement by Nzimande motivating the appointments. He called transport “the heartbeat of economic growth and social development”.

– This article was first published at GroundUP

- Editor’s note: In an earlier version of this article‚ originally published by Ground Up‚ it was stated that Swartz was suspended with immediate effect pending an investigation into allegations of corruption. This was later removed from the Ground Up article‚ which was corrected to state that Swartz was‚ in fact‚ removed as interim CEO because his leadership was deemed to much of a risk. SowetanLIVE‚ however‚ was not aware that the original article had been corrected‚ so this incorrect information continued to be published on SowetanLIVE. It has since been corrected. SowetanLIVE also contacted Swartz to get his side of the story‚ and this article will be updated to reflect his comments should he choose to respond. We regret the error apologise for any harm caused.

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