South Africa: Prasa Lawyerless On Eve of R6 Billion Contracts Battle Despite Pleas to Ramaphosa and Co.

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An all-important legal tussle over allegedly corrupt contracts at Prasa is finally heading to court. As things stand, the state rail operator won't have any legal representation in the matter, despite pleas to President Cyril Ramaphosa, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni and Transport Minister Fikile Mbalula.

On Monday 24 February, the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria starts hearing arguments in civil proceedings between the Passenger Rail Service of South Africa (Prasa) and Siyangena Technologies, a former Prasa contractor demanding payment for outstanding fees amounting to R2.8-billion. If Prasa loses the case, it could end up paying Siyangena more than R5-billion after interest on the unpaid invoices had been factored in.

Siyangena, which was tasked to install access gates and other security-related products at Prasa stations, clinched contracts worth around R6-billion during former Prasa CEO Lucky Montana's reign at the SOE.

By all accounts, Prasa would be able to put forward solid arguments for why the Siyangena contracts need to be set aside -- of the more than R3-billion the company ended up receiving from Prasa, a staggering R550-million flowed to Durban businessman Roy Moodley, a known financial benefactor of former president Jacob Zuma (EXCLUSIVE: Zuma friend's R550m bonanza)

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