Public protector Thuli Madonsela’s recent report, titled “Derailed”, found evidence of maladministration, unlawful awarding of tenders and suspending employees without following proper procedures at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa). ZILUNGILE MNISI asked Durbanites what they made of the latest allegations of corruption from state organisations.
Muzi Hlengwa, 23, jewellery designer, Mbumbulu
I think that the report of corruption at Prasa is true. Not so long ago, there was that incident of the management ordering trains that were too big for our railway lines. This proves that they do not really pay attention to details, and that is being reckless. The public protector was asked to discover the developments of corruption within Prasa. It is quite surprising that corruption within government entities still occurs because by now they should know that these things have loopholes and that at the end it is discovered. I hope that there is justice with regards to the corruption at Prasa because it affects our economy, since it’s a state-owned entity.
Racheal Pontin, 21, Graphic Design student, Cowies Hill
There is nothing surprising about what was discovered in the public protector’s report. There seems to be a trend in corruption cases within our government and it has been going on for years now. I think all that can fix this whole mess is for Prasa to be under new management and then maybe things will be better. In terms of justice, I don’t think there is going to be much; there might be some justice but not all the way. It won’t be surprising if all those who are implicated will still remain in
their positions, because that is how most corruption cases go in our country.
Ndumiso Nxumalo, 24, IT intern, Newcastle
This will just be a process of the parties that are involved pushing to be proven not guilty. They will prolong this case and it might even take years until they face justice. They will try to counter this report even though it is proven that they are guilty. I think justice should be done but it’s going to take long for them to take responsibility of their actions. Thuli Madonsela should ensure that the recommendations in the report are implemented because we can’t have a state company being managed by people who only look out for their interests instead of considering the country as a whole.
Nompilo Mkhwanazi, 21, Journalism student, Pinetown
The fact that it the public protector had to investigate Prasa in order for the maladministration to be exposed is a problem in itself. Any company, whether state-owned or private, has auditors and this should have been discovered by them. This shows that the issue runs deep; Prasa does not have thorough audits and therefore it’s not only the people at the forefront who should be blamed. Corruption is everywhere, not just in South Africa. People in management positions tend to give priority to satisfying their own needs and that is why they give tenders worth millions to other companies that they favour.
Nontobeko Dladla, 28, waitress, Durban CBD
With so much corruption going on in South Africa, the work that the public protector does almost goes in vain. She has released so many reports, but the issues just tend to vanish into thin air. I hope that justice is served on this one because Prasa has been faulty over the past couple of months, with the railway incident for starters. The findings in the report just prove that there is a management issue and I think they should just seize [CEO] Lucky Montana’s assets until the investigation is over. This should use him to make an example of the consequences you face if so many faults have been found in a company that is under your management.
Zilungile Mnisi is our Durban reporter. Got a story idea or want to get in touch? Follow her on Twitter.