BREAKING: Court postpones legal battle by axed Prasa leadership

16 March 2017 - 13:36
By Sipho Mabena
former Prasa board chairperson Popo Molefe. File photo.
Image: Photo by Gallo Images / Foto24 / Deaan Vivier former Prasa board chairperson Popo Molefe. File photo.

Axed board members of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) have to wait another day to state their case in court.

An urgent court application to challenge their removal from the board has been moved to Friday.

David Unterhalter‚ representing former Prasa board chairperson Popo Molefe and others‚ asked for a postponement to respond to transport minister Dipuo Peters’s replying affidavit.

Unterhalter also requested more time to respond to an intervention application by Collins Letsoalo‚ who was until recently acting CEO at Prasa.

Unterhalter explained to the court that Peters only formally submitted her affidavit this morning.

Molefe's lawyers slammed Letsoalo's move to intervene in the proceedings‚ saying his approach "smacked of dilatory tactic ... designed solely to subvert the hearing of this matter".

  • Prasa board removal will derail appointment of permanent boss: MolefeFormer board chairperson of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) Popo Molefe has charged that the removal of the agency's board will scupper the process of appointing a permanent boss.

In a letter sent to the state attorney‚ Molefe's lawyers say Letsoalo has no interest in the matter and that no relief was sought against him nor does any of the relief sought affect him both in his personal or official capacity.

"He has no interest in the order or the outcome of the urgent proceedings‚" the lawyers said in the letter.

  • Relief and concern greet new Prasa boardThe announcement of the new Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) interim board has been met with both relief and concern‚ with trade union SA Transport and Allied Workers Union saying the announcement was what it had hoped for.

Molefe's lawyers further charge in the letter that Letsoalo's approach sought to dictate to the court and their clients the timetable for this matter.

The lawyers made it clear in the letter sent on Wednesday afternoon that their clients reserve their right to seek punitive costs against Letsoalo in his personal capacity as well as a finding of contempt of court.

Molefe and other former board members approached the Pretoria high court on an urgent basis to nullify their sacking from Prasa.

Letsoalo was seconded to Prasa as acting CEO last year. He had previously worked at the department of transport.

The Prasa board‚ under Molefe‚ sacked Letsoalo recently after it emerged that he had sought a 350% salary increase.