The cash-strapped Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) paid more than R57-million to a company owned by a sister of 'Dr' Daniel Mtimkulu, the SOE's disgraced former chief engineer. Scorpio's latest investigation shows Mtimkulu himself orchestrated the deal. Most alarmingly, well-placed sources claim that the company didn't do any work in exchange for the millions it received from Prasa.
In late November 2013, "Dr" Daniel Mtimkulu, Prasa's former executive manager for engineering services, penned a memorandum for the attention of his boss, the then group CEO Lucky Montana.
Under the subject line "Request to Augment the Capacity within Infrastructure", the document sought to get the go-ahead for adding new contractors to Prasa's procurement database. Mtimkulu argued that Prasa was "thin on capacity" and needed new external service providers to help the SOE repair and maintain its rolling stock and rail infrastructure.
The memorandum included a list of 27 companies that Mtimkulu wanted to bring into the Prasa fold. About two weeks after the submission, Montana signed off on the document. Thanks to Montana's formal blessing, these companies could now secure fat contracts from Prasa for infrastructure projects. And they wouldn't even have to submit tenders. The memorandum stipulated that...