Lucky Montana played cat and mouse with me over PP probe, says former Prasa chair Popo Molefe

12 March 2020 - 15:17 By ZINGISA MVUMVU
Popo Molefe. File photo.
Popo Molefe. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / Beeld / Lisa Hnatowicz

Lucky Montana did not reveal to the Popo Molefe-led Prasa board that he was being investigated by public protector Thuli Madonsela until the day he resigned in March 2015.

This is according to Molefe, who was giving testimony to the Zondo commission on Thursday.

The board had been appointed in August 2014 and did not know Montana was being investigated by Madonsela until media reports surfaced in December relating to an interim report that had been issued and further questions were asked by Prasa.

It was at this stage in January 2015 that Molefe confronted Montana to ask him whether the media reports were true.

Montana brushed it off, saying Madonsela had been fed misinformation by bitter former Prasa employees whom he had fired.

He did not furnish Molefe with the copy of Madonsela's interim report.

Molefe kept pressing Montana to provide the interim report and a full explanation on Madonsela's probe.

Then in March 2015, Montana handed over a file containing this information — but with it he handed in his resignation.

“In December 2014 I became aware of media reports related to what was alleged to have been an interim report by the PP and at that stage it was reported that the report had been given to Prasa,” said Molefe.

“I did ask about this report in a one-on-one discussion with Mr Montana and that was in the new year 2015 but that engagement did not yield anything substantive.

“I never got any proper response until only in March during which meeting I received a letter that Mr Montana had resigned.”

Molefe said on reading the interim report, Montana's claim that it was based on falsehoods was debunked immediately.

“The public protector had raised about 11 questions which were not adequately answered by Mr Montana and documents supplied to the public protector's office could not be authenticated.

“The investigation also related to irregularities relating to procurement and the manner in which he (Montana) controlled the organisation.

“Clearly then there was no way looking at that interim report that I could say there was anything wrong with that report.”