After years of South African train stations being subjected to unsolved arson attacks and hundreds of trains being burned, the Passenger Rail Agency of SA has dismissed four senior officials over their awarding of security-related tenders.
Prasa said in a statement today that this followed a disciplinary enquiry of the executives, who were in its Protection Services Department. Allegations have long been made that the outside security companies contracted to protect the country’s rail network have been part of the arson attacks.
In November last year Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula even blamed an “unprecedented” arson attack at Cape Town central station as an act in retaliation for the cancellation of “irregular” security contracts.
“The dismissals are the culmination of a disciplinary enquiry, following allegations of impropriety in the awarding of security related tenders,” Prasa said today.
Prasa Administrator Bongisizwe Mpondo said the actions of these people had undermined the utility’s ability to ensure the protection of its infrastructure, “which is critical to the proper functioning of our passenger rail system.”
Prasa said the dismissals were yet another important milestone in the clean-up of the entity, which started when Mpondo took office in December.
Mpondo’s appointment came after Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula dissolved Prasa’s interim board and placed the entity under administration.
“Prasa will continue to address the problem of irregular procurement through capacitation of employees for better understanding of the processes as well as through consequence management, as today’s action demonstrates. We will leave no stone unturned as we root out corruption and non-compliance at Prasa,” Mpondo said.
He has encouraged all employees and the public to continue to utilise the Prasa whistleblowing hotline number 0800 026 777 and secure email: email@example.com