Former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) CEO Lucky Montana on Monday vehemently denied corruption allegations leveled against him in court papers filed by his former employer.
The court papers show Montana allegedly profited from a relationship with Siyangena Technologies, one of PRASA’s contractors.
But Montana has now accused PRASA board chairman Popo Molefe of acting “holier than thou” by insisting he (Montana) benefited corruptly from Siyangena Technologoies which clinched R4-billion worth of contracts from PRASA while Montana was at the helm. According to PRASA, the company allegedly upgraded Montana’s luxury home in Waterkloof, Pretoria.
Montana on Monday listed properties he said he had bought throughout his years of employment, even before joining PRASA.
“I kept my silence out of respect for the ANC and the government, but this corrupt bunch at PRASA, acting holier than thou, are continuing to tarnish my name publicly. I am now dealing with [board members] of men and women who are corrupt,” he told journalists in Johannesburg.
“I can confirm that over the years, I have immensely invested in properties, most of which I bought before I joined PRASA.”
PRASA was seeking a court order to declare that certain contracts awarded under Montana’s tenure be set aside.
Montana said the court papers filed by PRASA contained several allegations against him as if he was the respondent.
“I did not appoint Siyangena. Contracts worth over R2-million are not approved by Montana, but by the PRASA board. There are processes in awarding contracts. Molefe is using me to fight his battle with Siyangena, which took PRASA to court for non payment for services. Molefe has clearly brought this court application against Siyangena to avoid the arbitration route,” he said.
The first residential property he bought was in Kenilworth, Cape Town before 1998 when he started working in the Mother City. The second property, financed by FNB and worth R116 000, he bought in Mamelodi, Montana said.
These were followed by seven more properties over the years, most of which he bought, refurbished and sold, said Montana.
He said the bonds were all consolidated by ABSA into a R10.5-million loan facility.
Montana purchased the house he currently lives in in Waterkloof for R1.2-million in 2004. He also bought another property in the same street in Waterkloof for R1.5-million for investment purposes, he said.
A partnership with other investors has seen Montana pay R3-million in a R13-million residential development, he told reporters.
“These are all my properties that I own, none of them were purchased on my behalf by Siyangena or anyone else. These properties are all financed by financial institutions…I felt I should take South Africans in my confidence.”
Montana was fired by PRASA board in June last year following a R3.5-billion tender debacle for new diesel locomotives that allegedly did not conform to South African rail line standards.