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Tue Sep 27 07:20:20 CAT 2016

Ex-Prasa boss snubs graft allegations, lists property deals

Dane McDonald and Carin Smith | 08 February, 2016 18:26
Prasa chairperson Popo Molefe has filed court papers claiming that contracts awarded to Siyangena Technologies were unlawful and that Montana enjoyed “improper financial benefits". File photo
Image by: Gallo Images

Former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana has rejected all allegations that he received property through corrupt dealings.

"There is nothing unlawful in my property deals," Montana said at a media briefing in Johannesburg on Monday.

Prasa chairperson Popo Molefe has filed court papers claiming that contracts awarded to Siyangena Technologies were unlawful and that Montana enjoyed “improper financial benefits".

According to the affidavit Siyangena was given an advantage through “bid-rigging” and because the contracts were ­coupled with alleged “corrupt activities”, City Press reported on Sunday.

The latest court application follows newspaper Rapport’s revelation in May last year that Siyangena Technologies’ lawyer bought Montana’s house in Johannesburg in 2014 for more than double the market value of the property.

According to the report Precise Trade and ­Invest 02, the shelf company through which the lawyer clinched the transaction, also paid R7.5m in cash for an upscale property in Pretoria in 2014, for which Montana himself had at first paid a deposit of R3.5m.

The purchase deed initially listed Montana as the buyer, but was later amended to name the lawyer’s shelf company as the new ­owner, though Montana himself took ­possession of the property’s keys from the previous owner.

The details of both property transactions form part of Prasa’s latest court application.

In a bid to hit back at the corruption charges, Montana listed all his property dealings.

He said since he started working he purchased and owned nine residential properties - "bought and developed properties" - and sold them.

"The majority were purchased before I joined Prasa and they were financed by financial institutions," Montana said.

His first property he bought in Kenilworth, Cape Town; the second in Mamelodi and the third in Rondebosch, Cape Town. The properties were bought for between R900 000 and R4.6m and were mostly financed by Absa.

His fourth and fifth properties were bought in Waterkloof in Pretoria. Referring to his fourth property he said: "I live in this house - it was never bought by any contractor for me."

The other Waterkloof property he said he bought for investment purposes. All his home loans at Absa are consolidated into one facility, Montana said.

His next three properties were bought in Parkwood and two in Waterkloof respectively. The last he said he bought recently with a partner who wanted to put up a "high density development". Montana has accused the current Prasa chair Popo Molefe of trying to settle scores.

"I'm not being taken to court, I am not even a respondent but Molefe used the opportunity to attack me and attempt to damage my reputation," he said.

He said he wanted to "spill the beans" on Prasa board members and especially Molefe.

"Molefe must look at himself in the mirror, he's been involved in shady deals," said Montana.

"Molefe is fighting against me for taking action against Fence&Gate."

Montana said that when he was CEO he instructed the board to cancel the latter contract because the company had not delivered on its mandate.

Montana defended his property investments saying that he had "invested immensely" over the years.

Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, said in a report published in August that an investigation into Prasa covering the period from about 2008 to 2013 found the company had a culture of “systemic failure” to comply with its own supply-chain policy.

Madonsela also concluded that Montana acted improperly regarding the awarding of service contracts and treatment of some employees.

Source Fin 24

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