Tshepo Lucky Montana

Tshepo Lucky Montana is the former CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa.

Education

He was a student activist.[1]

Career

He served as deputy director-general in charge of public transport at the Transport Department.

In April 2013, Montana was appointed to a third three-year term at PRASA, allowing him to oversee the testing and commissioning of the country’s new commuter rail system.[1] He was fired in 2015 by the PRASA board amid claims that he was abusing his powers as CEO and giving tenders and contacts to friends and those loyal to him.

Controversies

State Capture

Montana appeared before the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture in Johannesburg on Friday 16 April 2021.

Montana was implicated in wrongdoing by various witnesses who have appeared before the inquiry. He was accused of abusing his powers as CEO and giving tenders and contacts to friends and those loyal to him. Montana was head of Prasa between 2010 and 2015 until he was fired by the board amid the aforementioned claims.

Montana was also accused of collapsing corporate governance at Prasa.

Among other accusations, he also allegedly inflated the value of the contract for front company Swifambo Rail from R3.5 to R5 billion. In a statement in 2020, he accused the commission of being biased and said the inquiry was a witch hunt against him.[2]

In 2012, he was embroiled in a public spat with the Black Business Council and close allies of President Jacob Zuma over the Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) model PRASA chose as part of its capital expenditure plan.

A section of members in the African National Congress (ANC) said Montana appeared to have built himself an empire at PRASA.[1]

In 2015, then Public Protector Thuli Madonsela’s “Derailed” report highlighted Montana's role in financial mismanagement, including the appointment of security services, the termination of a cleaning contract and spending R170,000 on a women’s Blue Train trip.

In 2016 Montana took the public protector report on review to court. He also wrote to National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete after a Prasa briefing. He also wrote to David Mahlobo, then State Security Minister, after several people followed him to his home amid what he described as a sustained surveillance campaign that contravened seven intelligence laws.[3]

Former Prasa board chairperson Popo Molefe accused Montana of submitting a fake job offer to hoodwink his employer into increasing his salary.[4]

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Transport: South Africa’s Tshepo Lucky Montana rides the rails, The Africa Report, Published: July 25, 2013, Retrieved: April 16, 2021
  2. Amina Accram, Ex-Prasa CEO Lucky Montana to testify at state capture inquiry, SABC News, Published: April 16, 2021, Retrieved: April 16, 2021
  3. Marianne Merten, State Capture: Back in the limelight, Lucky Montana punches everyone’s ticket, Daily Maverick, Published: January 31, 2018, Retrieved: April 16, 2021
  4. ZINGISA MVUMVU, Former Prasa boss Lucky Montana 'faked job offer' to get a salary increase, says Popo Molefe, TimesLive, Published: March 13, 2020, Retrieved: April 16, 2021