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Prasa board chairperson Leonard Ramatlakane fired after agency accommodation scandal

Prasa board chairperson Leonard Ramatlakane fired after agency accommodation scandal
Prasa board chairperson Leonard Ramatlakane in Cape Town on 24 August 2022. (Photo: Leila Dougan)

The country’s rail agency is once again without a permanent board chairperson after Leonard Ramatlakane was fired following an investigation into his use of Prasa accommodation that is intended to be used by officials on trips to Cape Town, to avoid incurring hotel expenses.

Leonard Ramatlakane has been fired as the board chairperson of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) following an investigation into his occupation of a Prasa property “without due and proper processes being followed”. 

The announcement was made by the Transport Ministry on Tuesday, 6 June. According to the ministry, Ramatlakane was removed as both a board member and chairperson. 

Ramatlakane, a former ANC MP, was appointed chairperson in October 2020.

Daily Maverick made repeated attempts to contact him on Tuesday, but he had not responded at the time of publishing this report. 

In May, Daily Maverick reported Ramatlakane missed a parliamentary meeting at the Standing Committee on Public Accounts, with Transport Minister Sindisiwe Chikunga explaining that it was due to a deadline for Ramatlakane to provide reasons for his occupation of the Prasa property in Newlands. 

Read more in Daily Maverick: D-Day for Ramatlakane over luxury Prasa property rental in Cape Town

In March, the Sunday Times reported that Ramatlakane had moved his family into the Prasa property while his own home was being renovated. This property was meant to be used by officials on work trips so that Prasa avoided paying hotel costs. This raised eyebrows among Prasa officials, who said this was an abuse of public funds. At the time, Prasa could not confirm to the Sunday Times how much Ramatlakane paid in rental costs. 

The Prasa board decided on 6 March to refer the allegations to an internal inquiry. 

Prasa again without a board chairperson

Ramatlakane and the rest of the board were appointed on a three-year contract in October 2020. The board’s term of office will end in October 2023. 

Before the Ramatlakane board appointment Prasa had not had a permanent board or chairperson since 2017.

Read more in Daily Maverick: At last – a permanent board for embattled Prasa

Ramatlakane has a long history in governance and politics. He held several positions in the then ANC-controlled Western Cape government and legislature: between 1994-1997 he served as MEC for transport and public works. Following his appointment as an ANC chief whip in the legislature between 1997 and 2001, he was community safety MEC from 2001 to 2008. 

In 2008, he left the ANC for COPE and represented the party in the National Assembly in 2009 and 2014, reported TimesLIVE

In 2014, he moved back to the ANC and made it to Parliament where he sat on the transport oversight committee in the National Assembly until the 2019 general elections. It was during this time that Prasa made a number of appearances before Parliament over its troubled leadership, poor financials and sustained vandalism, theft and arson of its infrastructure. 

Daily Maverick asked Transport Ministry spokesperson Collen Msibi who will head up the board, but is still waiting for a response.

“The ministry is committed to clean administration and governance across its entities,” said Chikunga’s office. DM

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Comments - Please in order to comment.

  • Paul Savage says:

    Another African National Criminal. No doubt the cadre deployment team at the ANC will find another looter to fill his position.

  • Rory Macnamara says:

    “Ramatlakane has a long history in governance and politics.” is it so hard for the ANC to realise that putting these cadres into such positions always ends badly? get business people in there without government interference.

  • Sydney Kaye says:

    If he was fired for this minor infraction when the top criminals are kept in parliament, you can be sure the ANC have another reason to kick him out.

  • david everatt says:

    Couldn’t happen to a more fragrant chap.

  • Michael Clark says:

    The comrades at Lootfreely house must be busy fighting over the next comrade to feed at the trough.

  • Fanie Rajesh Ngabiso says:

    What is with this greedy fool. Earning a fat cat salary and still not good enough!

    Is uncontrollable greed an ANC psychological condition?

    Tell everyone you know – colleagues, employees, enemies and friends to vote DA if you want positive change.

    We don’t need groundswell change, we need a tsunami.

  • Bryan Macpherson says:

    Another ANC cadre with his snout so deep in the trough that he is drowning.

  • Armin Schrocker says:

    this is taking clean governance too far as for this minor infringement, something that can be considered normal given the circumstances. The much wider consequence is that PRASA is without leadership, again……….

  • David Pennington says:

    Just another thieving cANCer cadre

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