Prasa probe costing taxpayers R148m over 2 years | Fin24
 
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Prasa probe costing taxpayers R148m over 2 years

Jun 06 2017 07:40
Liesl Peyper

Cape Town – The forensic investigations into affairs at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has amounted to R148m over two financial years, Parliament was told in a written response.  

Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi responded to a question asked by Archibold Figlan from the Democratic Alliance, who wanted to know about the total amount budgeted for the investigations and the time-frames among, other things. 

Besides the R148m investigation costs in the 2015/16 and 2016/17 financial years, an additional R14m is budgeted for the current financial year. 

Maswanganyi said Prasa is currently being investigated for irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure identified by the auditor-general for the 2014/15 financial year that amounted to R500m, led by Werksmans Attorneys. 

READ: Public Protector office clarifies Prasa probe order

In addition, contracts of more than R10m that were concluded between 2012 and 2015 are being investigated as part of the remedial steps former public protector Thuli Madonsela recommended in her report on Prasa that was released in August 2015. 

Maswanganyi said he expects the investigations to be concluded by the end of July this year. 

“To date, the [Prasa] board has instituted seven court actions and forwarded 41 reports [flowing from the investigations to the Directorate of Priority Crimes for further criminal investigations,” the transport minister said in his response. 

In addition, four internal disciplinary actions have been instituted against employees. 

Fin24 earlier quoted Prasa board chairperson Popo Molefe as saying that although the costs of the investigations were high, there was no other way but to conclude them, as it involves R14bn of irregular transactions. 

READ: Why Peters stopped the Prasa probe

During a Parliamentary briefing in August last year, Molefe told MPs that the investigations were "massive" and that they had uncovered irregular confinements of some 120 instances. 

Prasa was fingered for irregular expenditure of over R14bn in its annual report last year. In the 2015/16 financial year, Prasa incurred irregular expenditure of R4.1bn, but an additional R9bn was identified in the same report that related to previous years. 

Read Fin24's top stories trending on Twitter:

prasa  |  joe maswanganyi  |  popo molefe  |  investigations
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