The CR17 ‘spy’, the security cabal and the…

A shadowy determine who reportedly has hyperlinks to the State Security Agency (SSA) has been appointed as the performing head of security at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa).  

Alexio Papadopulo was thrust into the public sphere when News24 reported that key people in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2017 ANC management marketing campaign staff suspected him of being the supply of the leaked emails that led to widespread scrutiny of the marketing campaign’s funds – a cost he denies and says he has been cleared of.

Now amaBhungane has established that Papadopulo is a part of a cohort of security officers, principally linked to former buildings of Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) in the Western Cape – at the least a few of whom seem to have accomplished work for the SSA underneath former high spy Arthur Fraser, or for Fraser’s non-public intelligence firm, Resurgent Risk Managers.

The security officers seem to have been deployed as a bunch, first to the CR17 marketing campaign, and now to Prasa.

Questions have additionally been raised about the group’s relationship with Prasa board chair Leonard Ramatlakane and transport minister Fikile Mbalula. One went as far as to invoke his affiliation with Ramatlakane and Mbalula to colleagues who have been despatched to seek out him after absconding from work. 

This raises the final query as as to whether the security staff’s position is to guard Prasa – or to assist seize it?

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Mysterious Mr Papadopulo

Papadopulo, a former gross sales worker and later enterprise associate at a Centurion digital items outlet, presents himself as a cyber security skilled.

During the run-up to the ANC elective congress in December 2017, he was employed by the CR17 marketing campaign’s head of security, Wally Rhoode, to safe the marketing campaign’s communications. Papadopulo arrange and managed the marketing campaign’s devoted electronic mail server alexio.on-line.

According to News24, after Ramaphosa turned president, Papadopulo labored for him for eight months earlier than reportedly departing amid “a collection of confrontations” with Rhoode, who was by then a significant basic and head of the presidential safety unit.

The report quoted claims that Papadopulo was “tight with Fraser” and advised he was later suspected by key Ramaphosa operatives of being the supply of leaks of emails from inside the CR17 marketing campaign.

These leaks shaped a part of proof delivered anonymously to Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane and cited in her July 2019 report, which discovered that Ramaphosa did not declare advantages he obtained from donations to his multi-million-rand inside election marketing campaign. 

The Public Protector’s report was later put aside by the courts as irrational and with out advantage, however in the meantime the emails leaked to the media, with each News24 and The Independent Group publishing tales exposing confidential CR17 donations and communications in early August 2019.

A supply who was near Papadopulo throughout the marketing campaign mentioned it was rumoured that he was “in some way related to Fraser” and “untouchable attributable to this connection”.

Papadopulo claims he was cleared of involvement after an investigation into the leaks by the Hawks cyber crimes unit. He confirmed amaBhungane a message from a Hawks officer, suggesting he had cooperated with the investigation and was not a suspect.

Papadopulo advised amaBhungane: “Remember the level of the matter is that I don’t know Fraser. The solely time I knew Fraser was when Fraser was additionally helping in the marketing campaign. So that’s all I do know of Fraser, when it comes to the relaxation, I’ve no clue of my ‘shut relationship’.”

 Fraser didn’t reply to questions from amaBhungane despatched to him by means of a trusted middleman.

A senior determine from the Ramaphosa administration, talking anonymously, advised amaBhungane they didn’t assume that Papadopulo was behind the CR17 leaks.

Rhoode too?

Papadopulo is just not the solely particular person to come back underneath suspicion. A extremely positioned intelligence supply advised amaBhungane that Rhoode beforehand obtained money funds from the SSA or one among its covert buildings. 

This is known to have included the interval throughout which he was contracted to Ramaphosa’s ANC presidential marketing campaign – a time when Jacob Zuma was president and Fraser was operating the SSA. There is circumstantial proof suggesting that Rhoode had cash issues that may have given him motive to take covert money from the SSA. 

In 2019 City Press obtained an SSA letter revealing that Rhoode had been denied “Top Secret” security clearance attributable to proof of “poor monetary judgement” as a result of he did not pay tax to Sars and had defaulted on funds to Absa and MTN. 

Of additional concern is that Rhoode introduced into the CR17 marketing campaign not solely Papadopulo, however a bunch of associates and a security firm with whom Rhoode had a chequered historical past.  

Rhoode, who continues to be answerable for Ramaphosa’s safety, advised amaBhungane that “police media protocols” forestall him from responding to issues associated to CR17. He added: “I have to say you elevate intersecting points and wish to reply however can’t.”


The “intersecting points” and their present-day relevance to Prasa are higher understood in opposition to the backdrop of a questionable 2006 security tender awarded by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to an unknown KwaZulu-Natal-based security firm, Intense Protection and Tourists Services (IPTS). 

IPTS was – and continues to be – owned by businessperson Muziwandile ‘Dalo’ Nala.

In late 2011, the Hawks arrested 5 individuals in relation to suspected tender fraud involving the IPTS-NPA contract, together with Rhoode, who was NPA head of security in 2006 earlier than he ran security operations for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.  

The others arrested have been Nala and three staff of the NPA: John Maree, 

Terence Joubert and Tebogo Sethabela. (Sethabela is now the director of provide chain at the NPA and has a long-pending lawsuit in opposition to his employer for wrongful arrest.)

Rhoode, Joubert, and Maree shaped a part of a bunch that led the NPA’s security buildings at the time. The group included Trevor Fredericks, the NPA head of security for the Western and Northern Cape.

Fredericks left the NPA in 2007. In 2015, he was the regional supervisor for Fraser’s Resurgent Risk, the place he was tasked with managing a contract for Prasa in the Western Cape. As we will see, Fredericks would reappear in CR17 and later as head of security for Prasa.

Part of the Hawks investigation of the IPTS tender included a search and seizure operation focusing on Joubert, who was based mostly at the NPA in Durban. As amaBhungane reported in 2012, controversial particular prosecutor Lawrence Mrwebi, broadly considered a key enabler of the ‘capture’ of the NPA underneath Zuma, was accused of attempting, unsuccessfully, to halt the search.

In any occasion, the case went nowhere. New investigating officers have been appointed, resulting in delays, and in May 2012, costs have been provisionally withdrawn when the court docket refused to grant one other postponement.

At the time, the NPA advised amaBhungane that investigations remained on observe and the case can be re-enrolled. That didn’t occur. 

In 2014, costs in opposition to all accused have been withdrawn after reconsideration by a senior business crime prosecutor, although notably this truth didn’t emerge publicly till 2019.

Rhoode & Co 

It appears extraordinary that this historical past didn’t elevate questions when Rhoode was introduced on board the CR17 marketing campaign.

Rhoode additionally introduced in Fredericks and one other ex-MK comrade, whose LinkedIn profile reveals he too hung out working for Resurgent, the non-public intelligence firm established by Fraser in 2010 throughout his stint outdoors the SSA.

Even extra extraordinary was that CR17, presumably by means of Rhoode, contracted IPTS to supply security to the marketing campaign. The leaked CR17 financial institution statements present IPTS was paid round R10-million between May 2017 and March 2018.    

By then IPTS, its proprietor Nala and one other of his corporations, Semele Trading Enterprise, have been already the topic of negative findings in investigations ordered by National Treasury in 2016, following a Public Protector’s report on Prasa.

That set of probes additionally flagged a 2015 Prasa contract awarded irregularly to Resurgent Risk, underneath which some R53-million was paid out, and really helpful that felony motion be taken in opposition to former Prasa officers.

Resurgent appeared each politically embedded and contentious: in May 2017 it launched a R20-million declare in opposition to the ANC for cost for “election help and strategic companies” in the run-up to the 2014 elections. 

Yet none of this appeared to have induced even a ripple in the CR17 marketing campaign at the time –  and afterward Prasa was equally unmoved by this historical past. 

CR17 to Prasa

Papadopulo’s re-emergence at Prasa prompted amaBhungane to look intently at the organisation’s security staff.

He was one among a bunch of 9 people given fixed-term contracts in Prasa’s security division in June 2021. The checklist included Fredericks, then newly appointed as head of security. 

Alongside Papadopulo and Fredericks have been different new security appointees who had labored at CR17. Bank statements present that amongst the 9, at the least three others have been additionally beforehand a part of the CR17 staff, which means at the least 5 of the 9.

The appointments have been extremely uncommon and Prasa’s majority union, the United National Transport Union (UNTU), demanded solutions about the appointment course of.   

In an electronic mail from UNTU deputy secretary basic Neels Haasbroek to the former head of human assets Thandeka Mabija and different Prasa officers, the union requested an pressing probe into the appointments over considerations about hiring processes being side-stepped. The union wished to know why inside members of the security division have been neglected for these high-level positions. 

Haasbroek added, “Trevor Fredericks is a pal of the minister and it’s not the first time that he’s appointed as security head. He beforehand declined the supply. I request an pressing Forensic Audit concerning these appointments…”

The “minister” was Mbalula, appointed to the transport portfolio in 2019. 

Team of ten

Plans for the recruitment of this allegedly hand-picked security staff seem to have gone again so far as October 2020, when Ramatlakane, a veteran Western Cape politician, was appointed the new Prasa chair.

By then severe injury had been accomplished to Prasa infrastructure throughout the Covid lockdown, after it was left susceptible when the company cancelled all its irregular security contracts in 2019 with out putting in correct options. 

In response, National Treasury had accepted a funds shift of R900-million to maintain defending Prasa belongings in the brief time period – and the new security staff appears to have been introduced in to implement a grand new community-driven security plan, to be led by MK veterans.

amaBhungane was advised that Prasa executives have been launched to Fredericks and Papadopulo in about mid-October 2020 as individuals being introduced on board allegedly “on a request of a shareholder”, which means Mbalula.

In response to a request for remark, the minister’s spokesperson Lawrence Venkile advised amaBhungane to direct questions on “the employment of individuals and procurement issues” to Prasa.

Read Mbalula’s full response beneath:

Full Response From the Mini…


By November 2020, Fredericks was being touted for a place as operational security supervisor to help Prasa to develop a security technique. 

 By 15 December, Ramatlakane, the new chair, was emailing a brand new security plan to performing chief govt Thandeka Mabija.

The plan reads: “Phase one is to ascertain the completely different modules of our security plan… A staff has been recognized with huge information of security and rail infrastructure. The staff contains of ten educated and expert individuals from all kinds of security backgrounds. This staff will likely be deployed into our completely different modules with a view to perform the pressing work wanted to repair Prasa security and take care of its infrastructure.”

That identical December, Fredericks was already being included in emails (although it’s not clear in what capability) and the new security plan was already slated to incorporate the portentously named People’s Responsibility to Protect Project (PR2P).

By February 2021, then head of security, General Tebogo Rakau, who had raised objections to the PR2P plan and questioned Fredericks’s position, had been fired. 

By March, Mbalula had introduced the challenge formally, together with promising that at the least 80 MK veterans can be appointed as practice hall coordinators to supervise the 1000’s of paid neighborhood volunteers.

But, as amaBhungane reported, a month later recruitment for the challenge was placed on maintain as newly appointed chief govt officer Zolani Matthews pulled the brakes on its implementation.

By June 2021, 9 of Ramatlakane’s ten security consultants had been appointed. What of the tenth? 

Joubert once more

Following Fredericks’s sudden loss of life in August 2021, Papadopulo assumed the position of performing head of security and, amaBhungane has established, started pushing the employment of Terence Joubert – although this by no means got here to fruition.

Prasa mentioned it was not conscious of this growth.

Do do not forget that Joubert was one among the accused in the Hawks suspected tender fraud case involving IPTS, which was withdrawn in 2014. 

Meanwhile at the NPA, Joubert was dealing with a brand new spherical of disciplinary costs, referring to a 2019 incident through which an envelope of R30,000 in money was allegedly dropped in his automobile by a relative of Craig Ponnan, an accused in a young fraud case involving former Durban mayor Zandile Gumede.

The NPA declined to prosecute criminally, however just lately advised amaBhungane that Joubert had been discovered responsible of gross dishonesty in a disciplinary listening to and was scheduled to be sanctioned.

Joubert advised amaBhungane he had been arrange and additionally mentioned he had not circulated his CV for a place at Prasa. 

Papadopulo at Prasa

If Fredericks and Papadopulo gathered a well-known crew round them at Prasa, then to what function?

In phrases of the security plan delivered by Ramatlakane, the core staff of ten was clearly meant to guide the full overhaul of Prasa’s damaged security programs – at a price of a whole bunch of thousands and thousands of rands.

As early as February 2021, info was circulating inside Prasa {that a} non-public security firm, the Red Ants, was being consulted about being onboarded as security suppliers, a senior Prasa supply advised amaBhungane.

That course of was all of a sudden accelerated with the outbreak of unrest in KwaZulu-Natal in July 2021.

This resulted in an emergency procurement course of that by its nature bypasses the regular provide chain guidelines. 

The emergency course of was initiated two days after the unrest broke out (11 July) when Prasa allegedly obtained “intelligence and info” that its infrastructure can be underneath assault – based on a memo that units out the rationale and the course of that was adopted.

One supply advised amaBhungane that Mbalula first raised the situation a few deliberate assault on Prasa’s infrastructure and then chief govt Matthews initiated the emergency procurement.

But, it was Fredericks and Papadopulo who sourced the service suppliers, virtually in a single day, for a R250-million contract.

The memo notes: “Due to the nature of the emergency, Prasa company security wanted deployments to provoke instantly and over a interval of 12 hours to be in any respect stations. The two corporations that responded and had the capabilities to ship have been IPTS and Red Ants Security.”

IPTS’s historical past with Fredericks & Co is already nicely established. amaBhungane is just not conscious of any proof of an identical prior relationship with the Red Ants, however we’ve beforehand pointed out that the firm appears nicely related politically.

The Red Ants have been contracted from 11 to 31 July for a staggering R241-million, overlaying Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, the Eastern Cape and the Western Cape.

IPTS have been to be paid R7.6-million for companies in KZN solely.

Acting head

During this era, Fredericks fell unwell and Papadupolo took over as performing head of security, compiling and signing on 16 August the addendum memo that included the prices for the riot intervention. 

Chief govt Matthews in flip signed to approve the memo and addendum on 28 August and 9 September respectively – however by October 2021, the contracts had but to be totally paid and the Red Ants issued a letter of demand to Prasa. 

According to the letter, Prasa had promised to pay the full R241-million owed to the Red Ants, however that they had obtained lower than R10-million.

The Red Ants’ lawyer advised Sunday Times at the time, “Prasa confirmed that the job was accomplished appropriately. If there’s presumption of one thing untoward, that’s incorrect.” 

amaBhungane understands that Papadupolo took a eager curiosity in the excellent funds, a lot in order that it induced friction inside the organisation. 

Such was the concern about the delay in paying the invoices that insiders declare this performed a job in the board’s resolution in February 2022 to put the chief monetary officer, Lesibana Fosu, on precautionary suspension, though Prasa mentioned it was for different causes. 

Collision programs

Rumours of Fosu’s impending suspension first surfaced in November 2021 when Sunday Times reported that after 9 months at the helm, Matthews had been suspended by the board. 

The paper advised Fosu could possibly be subsequent in line as Mbalula and the board had obtained briefs that the CFO was hampering Prasa’s operations as a result of she did not pay invoices on time. 

In the article, Fosu is quoted as saying the finance division wouldn’t approve “suspect” invoices. “If that’s impeding Prasa operations, at the least we will be certain that taxpayer cash doesn’t fund irregularities.” 

Fosu wouldn’t remark when approached by amaBhungane, however based on insiders, she raised questions in relation to cost of the emergency security contracts.

Communication seen by amaBhungane confirms that Papadupolo pushed for the riot invoices to be paid, however formal considerations raised about the emergency procurement course of.

In November, an eight-page inside audit report was addressed to Papadupolo. The report mentioned the course of to nominate the two security corporations was not “honest and clear” as a result of, for one, there have been different non-public security suppliers who submitted quotations that weren’t thought-about. 

The report didn’t go into who was accountable, nor did it handle the value of the contract or whether or not Prasa obtained worth for cash. 

Papadopulo advised amaBhungane the solely motive he felt “pressurised” to finalise the funds was due to Public Finance Management Act provisions, which stipulate that public entities ought to pay invoices inside 30 days. 

Oddly, on 21 February 2022, it was Papadopulo who communicated information of Fosu’s precautionary suspension in an electronic mail to Prasa’s senior administration. 

“Please be sure that the organisation recognise [sic] that Ms Fosu is suspended and individuals shouldn’t be [sic] copy Ms Fosu into any emails or communications from Prasa,”  Papadopulo mentioned in the electronic mail despatched to administration, together with performing chief govt David Mphelo. 

He went on: “Please be sure that… that these directions are understood as I’m presently investigating.” 

Insiders questioned why the electronic mail had come from Papadopulo, not the performing CEO, and advised that it demonstrated Papadopulo’s affect. 

By then Matthews was out of the image, having been fired as CEO just a few days after his suspension in November 2021. He was axed for not declaring his twin South African-British citizenship, although this appeared a flimsy pretext for the Ramatlakane board to eliminate him simply eight months into the job.

amaBhungane has seen proof that Matthews was being pressed to pay the emergency security contracts and to behave in opposition to Fosu, which he appeared reluctant to do. But in the background was additionally Matthews’s ambivalent position in one other large controversy, the Siyangena contract (see sidebar).

Matthews, who’s present process an arbitration course of with Prasa, refused to remark.

Nothing to see right here  

So what’s going on in Prasa’s security division? It is price noting that Prasa has lengthy been a useful resource for feeding MK factions and parking spooks. 

We ought to recall that in 2019, Daily Maverick revealed that former SSA deep-cover agent Mandisa Mokwena was quietly appointed as strategic adviser to Prasa interim chief govt Sibusiso Sithole in September 2018 – and even served as performing head of security till she was changed by Rakau in May 2019.

A spy who works ‘diligently’ has been irregularly employed at embattled Prasa for a year

So maybe it’s unsurprising that Prasa maintains there was nothing untoward about the appointments of Fredericks, Papadopulo and the others. 

Ramatlakane advised amaBhungane the staff had “particular” security expertise and the course of to nominate them was compliant with the firm’s recruitment insurance policies.

Prasa mentioned that when head-hunting for “essential scarce expertise” there was no have to promote positions. These people would supply the “intelligence-driven response” which Prasa mentioned would “curb the vandalism of its priceless belongings and different felony actions, which have been discovered to be workings of a felony syndicate”.

“You know that earlier than the group got here, there was completely no info supplied [about] the stealing of the cable, this intelligence info was non-existent. That’s one among the expertise which can be present in the group and that’s what we’d like,” Ramatlakane mentioned.  

By Ramatlakane’s account, Fredericks was the driving power behind amending Prasa’s security plan in 2020, which led to the appointment of the security staff and the R200-million community patrol programme PR2P.

Notably, this was lengthy earlier than Fredericks’s official appointment in mid-2021. So who paid him?

Ramatlakane advised amaBhungane that Fredericks initially refused an supplied contract, however as an alternative assisted Prasa with creating its security plan “freed from cost”. 

Asked if Fredericks’s involvement in redesigning the security plan whereas not formally employed, with little to no information of the working and security setting, didn’t pose a significant security threat, Prasa mentioned that he labored with the earlier head of security, Rakau, and “helped establish gaps and shortcoming in our programs”. 

Ramatlakane defined that when the new board was appointed, the company security plan was in place nevertheless it was amended to incorporate objects comparable to the PR2P.

“Rakau couldn’t write this technique to include what we wished to be integrated in the company security plan,” he mentioned, including that the excuse Rakau supplied was “I’ve not accomplished it earlier than. So you are able to do it”.

A recording 

But Rakau denies this. He maintains that Fredericks, removed from working “freed from cost”, was employed on a short-term contract in late 2020, which Rakau claims was at the insistence of then performing CEO Mabija. 

Rakau advised amaBhungane that he first received sight of the new security technique in a gathering on 16 December 2020 the place these amendments have been mentioned. In the assembly was board chair Ramatlakane, Mabija and somebody Rakau had not anticipated: Fredericks. 

The motive Fredericks’s presence was a shock was as a result of shortly after Prasa finalised his contract as an operations security supervisor, he disappeared. 

Rakau mentioned after Fredericks stopped reporting to work, he wrote to the human assets division to have his wage frozen. 

“HR’s response was that I ought to make technique of attempting to find him. I despatched individuals to his home and they discovered him however nonetheless he didn’t come to work,” mentioned Rakau. 

amaBhungane is in possession of an audio recording of the Prasa delegation’s go to to Fredericks. In the recording, a contemptuous Fredericks confirms to the officers that he has been ignoring Rakau’s cellphone calls. 

“I’m involved with the board chair and the minister. I don’t have time for him now,” Fredericks is heard saying. He tells the officers that he’ll inform Mbalula and Ramatlakane that Rakau despatched individuals to search for him and will present them with these people’ names. 

The recording ends with Fredericks saying, “He is boastful to ship you. I do know it’s received nothing to do with you; I used to be supplied this put up and I didn’t need it. That’s what occurred.”

Neither Prasa nor Ramatlakane responded to questions on this incident. Mbalula mentioned he was not ready to touch upon “rumour”. 

In February 2021, Rakau was dismissed and, whereas this was overturned by the Labour Court, he selected to settle with Prasa and left in April. 

In June, Fredericks was appointed as head of security, however died shortly thereafter. Papadopulo has been performing in the place since. 


The most fascinating response to queries about the unusual convergence of former CR17 security officers in Prasa got here from somebody in the Ramaphosa presidency, who agreed to talk to amaBhungane solely about the background.

It was put to the person who the proof gathered advised that the SSA had a number of views into the CR17 marketing campaign.

amaBhungane had identified that in Fraser’s engagement with the Zondo Commission, he requested to be supplied with “a replica of the file containing intelligence on His Excellency, President ​​Matamela Cyril Ramaphosa, on his enterprise and political actions in addition to his associates”. 

amaBhungane famous that it was subsequently clear that the SSA did certainly spy on Ramaphosa and would possible have continued to take action throughout his election marketing campaign.

It was put to the person who it was certainly a matter of concern that a few of the most probably channels for this surveillance had beforehand embedded themselves at the NPA and latterly at Prasa.

While the responses to those points have been frustratingly indirect, what the supply appeared to assume was that amaBhungane was being fed “deep intelligence” in a bid to upset the delicate stability of forces and pursuits that maintain the Ramaphosa presidency afloat.

That response suggests the burning query now’s: whether or not that stability consists of an lodging with Arthur Fraser. DM

The amaBhungane Centre for Investigative Journalism is an impartial non-profit organisation. We co-publish our investigations, that are free to entry, to information websites comparable to Daily Maverick. For extra, go to us on

In July 2021, each Prasa chair Ramatlakane and its Group Executive: Legal, Risk and Compliance sought authorized recommendation in relation to a contract with Siyangena Technologies.

Prasa had awarded Siyangena Technologies a variety of contracts associated to the set up of a security entry administration system in 2011 and 2014 – with the complete value ballooning to greater than R4.5-billion. The deal was awarded throughout the time of former Prasa chief govt Lucky Montana.

In late 2014, Popo Molefe took over Prasa’s board and began a significant cleanup. Montana departed quickly afterwards. 

Molefe’s initiative included launching investigations into corruption and maladministration and taking two mega-contracts to court docket to have them put aside: the Siyangena deal and the Swifambo contract (involving the infamous “too tall” locomotives). 

The High Court put aside the Siyangena contracts in a damning 2020 judgment, discovering that Montana and others intentionally bypassed inside controls. The judgment additionally discovered Siyangena had supplied backing for a few of Montana’s property transactions, one thing Montana has all the time denied, together with in his latest proof at the Zondo Commission.

The court docket ordered that an impartial engineer assess the worth of the work really accomplished by Siyangena and that this be set off in opposition to funds already made by Prasa.

Siyangena appealed the excessive court docket ruling, however the attraction has not but been heard. 

Meanwhile, as Sunday Times reported, Siyangena proprietor Mario Ferreira approached Ramatlakane about the risk of reaching an out-of-court settlement.

Ramatlakane then sought authorized recommendation about settlement discussions, together with asking counsel: “Now that Montana appeared and supplied an evidence of rising his property portfolio, will this not weaken us throughout the attraction?”   

The opinion supplied on 31 August 2021 by Advocate Kgomosoane Mathipa was unequivocal. He advised Prasa that Montana’s explanations at Zondo would “not weaken the case on attraction” and that Prasa couldn’t, as a matter of legislation, conform to any settlement outdoors the phrases set by the excessive court docket. 

The solely actual foundation for settlement can be for Siyangena to conform to withdraw the attraction and abide by the excessive court docket ruling.  

The advocate wrote, “In my view, it’s undesirable for Prasa to institute a self-review software, safe the judgment it wished and then wish to settle the matter… I want to reiterate that there was a constitutional obligation on Prasa, upon discovery of irregularities in its procurement course of, to go to Court for self-review. It additionally has an obligation to defend the judgment of the court docket, which has been granted in its favour.”

Without prejudice?

Notwithstanding this recommendation, Ramatlakane wrote to Ferreira in September, noting that Prasa was keen to satisfy on a without-prejudice foundation “to grasp your viewpoint and additionally what you can be placing on the desk as a proposal to resolve the litigation”.

The Prasa board mandated the CEO to implement this technique, and on 3 November 2021 Matthews and performing authorized govt Thato Tsautse met Ferreira and his staff.

Prasa has denied there was something sinister about the assembly, arguing the authorized opinion confirmed that it was permissible for the events to hunt an answer. However, given the authorized recommendation Prasa obtained, the obvious end result is stunning.

An unsigned decision seen by amaBhungane proposed {that a} joint staff of Prasa and Siyangena ought to put together a draft settlement that will be made an order of court docket, together with that Prasa would pay an extra R2.6-billion “to shut the final chapter”. 

In addition, Prasa would strategy the court docket to revisit the self-review that overturned the Siyangena contract  “because it was based mostly on fallacious rules”. 

Matthews was to ship a memo with suggestions for consideration by the Prasa board.

However his companies have been terminated earlier than he ever tabled any such memo and it’s not clear what Prasa’s strategy to the attraction is presently. 

What is thought is that Prasa has ditched Werksmans, the authorized staff that represented them so far. DM


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