Montana considers defying 'biased' commission
Lucky Montana, the former chief executive of Prasa, is considering defying a summons by the Zondo Commission to testify before it on 16 April – following in the footsteps of former President Jacob Zuma.
He reportedly told Independent Media yesterday that he felt the summons was an attempt to cover up ‘real corruption’ that took place at the Passenger Rail Association (Prasa), the state-owned company he left in July 2015.
Going back to where it all started, notes a report on the IoL site, Montana said that in July 2019, as per a call from the ANC that all its members must assist the commission if they had information, he met with their investigators.
He said that after months of waiting, the commission had asked him to submit his affidavit regarding the allegations. The investigators ‘circled some parts’ of it and told him to remove them – but he refused.
The circled parts, Montana claimed, contained information of corruption that was allegedly committed by a Minister serving in Cyril Ramaphosa’s Cabinet, a former board member of Prasa, a retired executive once named in the alleged SARS ‘rogue unit’ and a top ‘white-owned’ law firm based in Johannesburg.
‘I received the latest summons with mixed feelings. I had already taken the decision not to pursue the matter further after the commission, for some frivolous reasons regarding the so-called numbering and marking of my documents, cancelled the hearing of my evidence that was scheduled for 4-8 January 2021. I had been in discussion with writers to convert my evidence into books. I think this may be the reason the commission decided to call me. I am still consulting my family and legal advisers on whether or not I should honour the summons.’
Accusing the commission of bias, he said: ‘I restate my position that the commission under Deputy Chief Justice RMM (Raymond) Zondo is extremely biased and continues to act in violation of its own terms of reference. It is my considered view that DCJ Zondo has conducted himself in a disgraceful and unprofessional manner. He has aligned himself and the commission to preferred witnesses making false allegations without supporting evidence while protecting the real culprits that collapsed Prasa after I left the public entity in July 2015.’
According to the IoL report, he claimed the commission had ‘no legitimate right to summon me’.
Summons or regulation 10 are issued against persons that refuse to co-operate with the commission or refuse to reply to rule 3.3 notices.
'Zondo and his commission should be polite and invite me properly,’ he is quoted as saying.
Article disclaimer: While we have made every effort to ensure the accuracy of this article, it is not intended to provide final legal advice as facts and situations will differ from case to case, and therefore specific legal advice should be sought with a lawyer.