POLITICAL NEWS - The former chairperson of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) Popo Molefe has called for people to fight corruption, be principled and respect their values and not love their political parties more than the country.
Molefe was on Tuesday giving testimony at the commission of inquiry into state capture on sustained attempts by those in power to remove him and the board he chaired for pursuing corruption within the state-owned entity (SOE).
Molefe accused ANC parliamentarians during former president Jacob Zuma’s term of overlooking allegations of corruption and the use of public funds for personal benefit.
He cautioned that allowing the abuse of power to continue unchecked was dangerous and could lead to the loss of life, negatively impact the country’s economy and have an adverse effect on people’s livelihoods.
“The fundamental issue that drives us should be our values and principles,” Molefe said, adding that it should not be a love for party colours or the party but rather the rights and freedoms of the people of the country.
Molefe said even the fight against apartheid had not been about a particular political party assuming the seat of governance but about South Africans democratically electing its leadership.
Molefe’s testimony on Monday afternoon also dealt with Dipuo Peters’ reshuffling and replacement with Joe Maswanganyi as the minister of transport at the end of March 2017.
Molefe told the commission that Peters had dismissed his board without giving substantive reasons and that her decision was later declared by a court as irrational and then set aside, resulting in their reinstatement.
The commission heard that soon after his appointment, Maswanganyi served Molefe’s board with notices requesting they provide reasons why they should not be removed, which the former Prasa board chair said was a clear indication that the board was not wanted.
However, Maswanganyi did not go ahead with the threat of terminating the board, the commission heard.
Molefe said Maswanganyi achieved the same “objectives” and “goals” Peters sought by rendering the board dysfunctional by failing to appoint two directors to make it quorate.
He told the commission that some of his board members were lobbied to resign, with two of them actually resigning.
Two businessmen from Maswanganyi’s home province, Limpopo, visited Molefe at his home at around April or May 2017 and told the former Prasa board chair that the former minister had asked them to relay the message that an amicable separation should be announced at a press briefing.
Molefe’s testimony continues, watch live courtesy of the SABC: