07/03/2017 19:08 GMT | Updated 07/03/2017 19:09 GMT

Prasa's Board Is 'Less Professional Than A High School Tuckshop', Says MP

The Prasa board is just as bad as the SABC board, say annoyed MPs.

Gallo Images / Thapelo Maphakela
Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) acting CEO Collins Letsoalo, who was axed by the Prasa board over his salary.

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) board was no different to the disgraced SABC one, Parliament's transport portfolio committee heard on Tuesday.

"I have seen more professionalism in a high school tuckshop. This is actually sickening," DA MP Manny de Freitas said.

The Prasa board and acting CEO Collins Letsoalo were briefing MPs on the entity's problems, including the seemingly unauthorised 350 percent salary increase for Letsoalo.

MPs were dismayed as the board and Letsoalo detailed the breakdown in communication between them.

DA MP Christian Hunsinger said the debacle, which included a media spat between the board and Letsoalo, was an embarrassment to South Africa. The fight between the board and Letsoalo, who was refusing to leave, was like a soap opera.

Both sides had erred badly in how they had handled themselves during the process, Hunsinger said.

EFF MP Thilivhali Mulaudzi said the board was abusing the committee, and called for it to be dismissed. He could not understand why it had 10 members in an acting capacity.

"This board is useless. Every time we come here, we are always dealing with problems. This board must fall. All of you must step aside," he said.

'People should be arrested'

ANC MP Leonard Ramatlakane questioned if Letsoalo had been asked to leave because he had misappropriated money.

This, he said, should mean members of the board should also leave, once they had repaid money spent on paying extra board members, who were appointed without the transport department's approval.

Another ANC MP, Goodwill Radebe, said he didn't see a difference between what was happening at Prasa and what had happened at the SABC.

"The board is corrupt. People should be arrested, because they know very well what they have done."

The board was brought to task for not living up to its mandate, and derailing work.

Last month, Letsoalo briefed the media following a Sunday Times report that he had hiked his salary from R1.7 million to R5.9 million per annum. He was appointed in July 2016. He said he was entitled to this salary and would not have accepted his appointment had he been offered R1.7 million, which he earned as Road Traffic Management Corporation CEO.

A few hours later, the board voted unanimously to dismiss him. It said it had never approved his R5.9 million salary and that there had been a "huge misunderstanding". Letsoalo then claimed he was never officially notified of his sacking.

Prasa has appointed corporate secretary Lindikaya Zide as interim CEO.