DA wants public protector to probe Maswanganyi for ‘wilfully misleading’ Parliament

01 October 2017 - 12:58
By Timeslive
Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi.
Image: Twitter/Arrive Alive Transport Minister Joe Maswanganyi.

The Democratic Alliance is to write to the Public Protector‚ asking her to investigate Minister of Transport Joe Maswanganyi for “wilfully misleading” Parliament about meeting with the Prasa Board when he was appointed to the portfolio.

DA spokesman on transport Manny de Freitas said that in a reply to a Parliamentary question‚ Maswanganyi claimed to have met with all entities’ boards and CEOs‚ including the rail agency Prasa.

“This directly contradicts statements made by the previous chairperson Popo Molefe‚ who stated the Minister ‘refused’ to meet with the board since his appointment as Minister‚” De Freitas said.

“Not only has the Minister failed to meet with the previous board‚ and lie about it – he has failed to appoint a new board. It is now two months since the previous board’s term ended‚” he added.

De Freitas said the failure to appoint a board had resulted in PRASA failing to table its annual reports as there was uncertainty as to whether the acting CEO could be considered the accounting authority in terms of the PFMA.

“In a letter sent to Parliament‚ the Minister claims that ‘Prasa aims to submit these documents for tabling in Parliament by 31 October 2017’.

“This clear admission on the absence of an accounting authority‚ brings into question all other contracts such as the R57-billion loan agreement it entered into with the Export and Import Bank of China to finance the development of the Moloto Rail Development Corridor.

“The Minister must be held accountable for his continued failure to address the disaster that is Prasa‚” said de Freitas‚ adding that the minister’s inaction had “aided and abated the chaotic situation at Prasa and allowed state capture functionaries free reign”.