DA to request independent parliamentary inquiry into Gupta influence at Prasa
20 June 2016
The DA will be requesting a parliamentary inquiry into the R51 billion tender for the purchase of 20 new locomotives by the Passenger Railway Agency of South Africa (Prasa) which has been alleged to have been unduly interfered with by the Gupta family and Duduzane Zuma.
This is the latest reported case in which allegations have been made that the troublesome Gupta family and Mr Zuma attempted to rig the tender process so that they may pilfer the state in this contract and in doing so flouted due process. Parliament has a duty to act in terms of section 55(2) of the Constitution to investigate this latest allegation of state capture and grand financial mismanagement at the rail agency.
Additionally, Parliament must use its power to summon the Gupta brothers and Duduzane Zuma before it to account for this highly irregular conduct for which they stand accused.
Should Parliament determine that there were irregularities in this regard; Parliament is duty-bound to refer these transgressions for criminal prosecution.
The purpose of this inquiry is to ensure that Prasa is not being used a personal bank by the Guptas and those close to President Zuma. The DA needs Parliament to satisfy itself that the recent operational difficulties at Prasa that saw Metrorail stagnate have not been the result of the financial malfeasance caused by former CEO, Lucky Montana, and the doors he opened for political allies using state funds. This is a fact the Public Protector highlighted in her scathing 2015 report entitled “Derailed".
Even more alarming is the fact that there are allegations in the media that Montana allegedly instructed his IT specialist to wipe clean a laptop that was thought to have contained “sensitive” documents relating to the troubled state-owned entity after he had been dismissed.
Corruption must be investigated and addressed in order for the South African public to receive the basic services they pay for.
We will be ensuring that Parliament applies its powers accordingly to address the mismanagement of Prasa. This is a matter of national importance that affects the wellbeing of all South Africans who depend on public transport.
Issued by Manny de Freitas, DA Shadow Minister of Transport, 20 June 2016