Former Prasa chief executive Lucky Montana has alleged that Luthuli House has in the past influenced appointments of the rail agency’s board, and even tried to skim off the top of its rail contracts.
Montana has been delivering explosive testimony in a parliamentary inquiry into state capture.
He says former Transport Minister Dipuo Peters and former ANC secretary-general Zweli Mkhize moved to change the Eskom board in 2014 when the Guptas failed to secure a train contract for China South Rail.
Montana says the Gupta family, their associates and the president son’s Duduzane tried to influence the tender process for Prasa’s 2012 rolling stock bid.
Montana says an Indian man met him at a hotel, gave him a burner phone and the CVs of Salim Essa and Iqbal Sharma, whom the Guptas wanted on the bid evaluation committee.
Montana says it was suggested that Jimmy Manyi head the board. He says Peters and Mkhize colluded on the board changes and Peters suggested Popo Molefe head the board.
“Mr Mkhize told me Prasa was due to pay R465 million to Swifambo Rail Leasing, the company who would build the locomotives. He said they wanted 10% of the R465 million.”
Montana says he didn’t agree to the payment, sparking the ire of Luthuli House.
Montana says while the Guptas were blocked from lucrative tenders at the rail agency, the ANC behaved in a similar way, if not worse.
He alleges that during his time at the rail agency, top ANC members also tried to influence black-owned companies receiving tenders.
Montana alleges top ANC members also tried to benefit from the rail agency, including Molefe and the head of the ANC’s economic transformation committee Enoch Godongwana.
He says on at least three occasions, Molefe got companies contracted to Prasa to make donations to his development foundation.
While Godongwana met with him to ask for support for a company bidding for a security tender.
“It was not only the Guptas who were doing their own thing at Prasa. There was the interest from the black business groupings; many of them signed contracts and agreements with bidding countries abroad.”