Scopa held a funeral on Wednesday night. The deceased was the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa. It was brutal to watch as most of the meeting centred on one issue: Why was there no record of the minutes taken at the entity's board meetings in the 2018/2019 financial year?
"Our job is to know what killed the patient -- we want to know what killed Prasa," said Mkhuleko Hlengwa, chair of Parliament's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) during Wednesday night's late-night grilling of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa). But grilling was not even close to describing what went on during the session. Even Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula could not avoid the funeral service.
Mbalula wanted to speak about what Prasa would do in the future, but Scopa wanted to look back at the entity's financial statements, including deviations, expansions, irregular, fruitless and wasteful expenditure. One of the key issues highlighted by Scopa was a remark in the Auditor-General's explanation of a disclaimer opinion in its audit findings. The AG's notes read:
"Prasa did not maintain complete governance records, including minutes of meetings of the board, sub-committees and executive committee. This has had a negative impact...