Outa opens perjury case against ex-Sanral boss over toll road | Fin24
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Outa opens perjury case against ex-Sanral boss over toll road

Dec 19 2016 10:35

Cape Town – The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) on Friday laid charges of perjury against former Sanral CEO Nazir Alli over the Cape Winelands tolling project.

The charge arises out of the sworn statement made by Alli in the dispute between the City of Cape Town and Sanral over Alli’s handling of the proposed tolling of national roads in the Western Cape, Outa said in a statement on Monday.

The charges were load by social worker John Clarke, who has been campaigning for Sanral to not toll the planned Wild Coast route in the Eastern Cape.

“The ramifications of this particular perjury allegation go beyond matters of road building and financing decision,” said Clarke. “It is about buttressing the rule of law.”

Tuesday update: Sanral spokesperson Vusi Moni told Fin24: “Since this a charge against an individual, SANRAL cannot exercise opinion or commentary until discussions have taken place with Mr Nazir Alli.”

According to Outa, Alli allegedly made a declaration in a sworn statement dated 2 October 2014, stating that the Sanral board had passed a resolution in 2004 to declare sections of the N1 and N2 in the Western Cape as toll roads.

“However, Mr Alli could not produce minutes of the board meeting to prove that the any such resolution was taken prior to the 2008 gazetting of the roads as toll roads,” Outa claimed.

“Effectively Mr Alli – who was negotiating a Public Private Partnership tolling concession deal with a construction consortium – had taken the responsibility upon himself to declare the roads as toll roads, in contravention of section 12 (2A) of the Sanral Act.

“While Mr Alli is a member of the Sanral board, he does not have voting rights nor the required authority, and was obliged to obtain a formal board resolution and then authorisation by the minister of Transport, before turning a national road into a commercial business opportunity.

“The Minister of Transport (at the time Minister Jeff Radebe) signed off on the declaration without evidently applying his mind or being aware that the Sanral board had not exercised its fiduciary duty to pass a resolution.”

In September 2015, the Cape High Court found Alli’s assertion that the board had passed the requisite resolution to “be so far-fetched as to be untenable” and accordingly granted the City of Cape Town’s application for the toll road declaration to be set aside, Outa explained.

“Sanral’s appeal to the Supreme Court left Justice Navsa and four other judges equally unimpressed, finding Mr Alli’s attempts to remedy the situation ten years later by seeking a round robin resolution from the 2014 board deliberately obfuscatory” and “disorder made worse than before. Confusion worse confounded’,” it said.

The SCA ruled in September that Sanral and the transport minister acted unlawfully in purporting to have the Winelands routes in the province declared toll roads.

However, Sanral announced it was appealing this ruling in October.

Outa chairperson Wayne Duvenage said he believes the perjury charge would stand up in a criminal court and if Alli is convicted, will hopefully serve to deter any CEO of a state owned or public entity from behaving as a law unto themselves in the future.

“There is a worrying trend of state owned institutions where senior executives flout the law so as to not act in the best interest of South Africa as a whole,” he said. “Outa is committed to arrest this behaviour and will continue to root out the rot and pursue these matters in our courts, where and as required.”

Fin24 has asked Sanral for comment and will update this story and publish a further story once received.

outa  |  sanral  |  toll


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