Former Passenger Rail Agency of SA CEO, Lucky Montana, appears before a parliamentary inquiry into state capture on January 30, 2018 in Cape Town.
Gallo Images / Sowetan / Esa Alexander
- Montana says he wants to testify at the state capture inquiry., despite labelling it a “witch-hunt” and accusing it of bias.
- The commission has heard evidence that Montana “ruthlessly abused his powers” as head of the agency, brooking no dissent and seeking to have employees fired who crossed him.
- Former President Jacob Zuma has also demanded Zondo to recuse himself. The inquiry’s chairperson has since ordered that a summons be issued for him to appear.
The former boss of South Africa’s passenger rail agency, Lucky Monata, has written to the chairperson of the ongoing state capture inquiry to say that he intends to testify, despite calling the inquiry a “witch-hunt”.
In a statement, Montana said that he has submitted a comprehensive statement to the commission and “intends to tell the story of the Prasa I know” .
He also said he was seeking legal advice on whether to proceed with an application for the recusal of the commission’s chairperson, Judge Raymond Zondo. He added that, before the application is made, he will provide Zondo with “an opportunity to reflect honestly”.
Montana headed up the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa between 2010 and 2015, when he was fired.
Earlier this year the commission, which has been investigating allegations of state capture, corruption and fraud at state entities since August 2018, heard from a former employee that Montana “ruthlessly abused his powers” as head of the agency, brooking no dissent, and sought to have employees fired who crossed him.
The commission also scrutinised Montana’s purchase of prime properties in Sandhurst in Johannesburg and Waterkloof in Pretoria. Although Montana made the initial offer to purchase, someone else assumed ownership.
In his statement, Montana wrote that the commission was “biased” and “not interested to hear the version of those of us who are ‘accused'”.
“He [Zondo] mas made up his mind and is pursuing a predetermined outcome,” said Montana.
Former President Jacob Zuma has also demanded Zondo to recuse himself. The chairperson last week granted an an order authorising the commission’s secretary to sign and issue summons for Zuma to appear before the inquiry in mid-November.