Jeff Radebe catapulted Lucky Montana to the top, Zondo commission hears
Former minister Jeff Radebe was the person who catapulted former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana to the top, the state capture commission of inquiry heard on Friday.
This is according to former Prasa board chairperson Popo Molefe, who continued giving evidence on how Montana allegedly brought the state-owned company to its knees.
Molefe provided background of how Montana, from as early as the late 1990s, was launched into the public service by then minister of public enterprises Radebe.
Molefe said at the department of public enterprises (DPE), when Radebe was in charge, Montana was appointed as a director within the department.
A Montana ally, Makhensa Mabunda, who later became a businessman, also worked at DPE at the time.
In 2004, when Radebe was redeployed to be minister of transport, Montana “followed” him in a “big jump”, said Molefe.
“Around that period, of minister Radebe as transport minister, the government initiated an ambitious project of taxi recapitalisation,” said Molefe.
“When this project began, two things happened. Mr Montana was given the responsibility to own that process. To be the one who directs the taxi recap programme.
“Second, Mr Makhensa Mabunda decided to go into the private sector, becoming a business person. Mr Mabunda then becomes a key one who gets a tender to provide transactional advisory service with regards to taxi the recap programme.”
Radebe did not stop there, said Molefe, pushing Montana to the top as he subsequently appointed him Prasa CEO in 2008.
Once again Mabunda would emerge among the leading service providers at Prasa after Montana's appointment.
“When Montana moved to Prasa, Mr Mabunda emerges again as a key service provider on transactional advisory services on all important projects,” said Molefe.
The commission of inquiry was told that Mabunda benefited from Prasa through two of his companies, Sifambo and Siyaya Engineering. It is alleged he was paid more than R1bn for consulting services and scored R80m “for facilitating” a lucrative locomotives contract.
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