Hawks Must Come Clean about Prasa Investigation

The Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) has called on Lieutenant-General Lesetja Mothiba, the Acting National Commissioner of the South African Police Service to urgently intervene and order the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (Hawks) to come clean about the progress of investigations into alleged corruption at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa)

On 19 June 2017 Hawks spokesman Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed in writing to the United National Transport Union (UNTU), FEDUSA’s affiliate in the passenger transport sector, that investigations into allegation pertaining to PRASA were continuing but added that the Hawks were not obliged to go into the details.

UNTU General Secretary Steve Harris says two years have passed since former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela, released her report, Derailed, in which she found widespread evidence of maladministration, improper conduct and nepotism.

“However up until now no individuals have been brought before the Courts, says Steve Harris, General Secretary of UNTU. On 6 June 2017 UNTU wrote a letter to Lieutenant-General Mothiba asking him for feedback on the Hawks investigation into allegation of fraud and corruption at PRASA after the now former PRASA Board alleged that the Hawks refused to investigate the allegations. Despite several reminders, Lieutenant-General Mothiba has not responded to UNTU’s letter,” said Harris.

“In the most recent turn of events the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA) filed an application at the Pretoria High Court yesterday to intervene in a case aimed at prosecuting those who siphoned off about R5.4bn in railway contracts at PRASA.

“OUTA wants the Court to compel the Hawks to investigate the alleged corruption at PRASA and wants the Court to compel the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to guide the investigations. This truly is a sad day as this is the basis of Constitutional mandate to South African Citizen of both the SAPS and the NPA”.

He said the OUTA court action comes after outgoing PRASA chairperson Popo Molefe had accused former and current Transport Ministers of undermining the Board’s ability to do proper investigations into the Derailed report.

“It was the Board of Prasa who approached the court to successfully set aside the

Swifambo contract amounting to approximately R2.6 billion. UNTU would once again appeal to the SAPS and the NPA to stop undermining public confidence in the criminal justice system in South Africa by simply irrespectively arresting and prosecuting the culprits without the Courts ordering them to do so,” concluded Harris.