Why didn't former Prasa CEO Letsoalo report nepotism, corruption? asks Prasa Board

Collins Letsoalo Picture: Martin Rhodes.
Collins Letsoalo Picture: Martin Rhodes.
Image: Business Day.

The Passanger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has hit back at its former CEO Collins Letsoalo. This follows allegations he made at a press briefing where he alleged to have found large-scale corruption at the rail operating agency.

Letsoalo alleged that he was fired after uncovering large-scale corruption at the state-owned entity. Sowetan reported on Wednesday that Letsoalo claimed that nepotism was rampant at Prasa. This publication also reported that Letsoalo said executives at the organisation gave tenders to their spouses.

In December 2016 Letsoalo  requested employees to declare their business interests and to disclose blood relations with other employees. He said what they uncovered was a shocker. "The results were shocking to say the least; we found massive conflict of interest and what looked like the highest form of nepotism," Letsoalo said.

He said people were "bused in from the Eastern Cape" to be given jobs in the organisation. "You have someone having 12 relatives working in the same department," Letsoalo is reported to have told members of the press during a media briefing.

In its response on Wednesday,  Prasa said it would not be addressing Letsoalo’s allegations but called on him to report any corruption he had uncovered to the Hawks. The Board also questioned as to why Letsoalo had not reported these to government as he had been seconded to the CEO position by the department of transport.

In its statement, the Board said: “Mr Letsoalo has a responsibility to share the information that he obtained during his secondment period with the Board and the department of transport. In addition to this, Section 34 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act obliges a person who occupies the position occupied by Mr Letsoalo and has information of corrupt activities to submit such evidence to the Hawks so that the Hawks can investigate the matters… If Mr Letsoalo has not submitted the information on corrupt activities to the Hawks, we urge him to do so. We urge MrLetsoalo to assist the necessary authorities to have these allegations tested in the interests of justice.

“The Board of Prasa is taking action against those that are implicated in allegations of maladministration, corruption and misconduct, notwithstanding their positions in the organisation. The Board has vowed that it will continue to fight corruption.​"

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