Report reaching the media has it that the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) board has been dissolved in parliament on Wednesday.
Briefing the parliamentary portfolio committee on transport on the status of Metrorail, the board members confirmed that they have been dissolved.
Members of Parliament had on Tuesday, called for the board’s removal after it was hauled over the coals for being “corrupt” and their handling of former acting CEO Collins Letsoalo’s firing.
“We have been fired,” said a board member in parliament.
This report comes after the rail agency handed over a report to Transport Minister Dipuo Peters about Collins Letsoalo’s salary issues after a report from Sunday times revealed that Letsoalo had his salary increased by over 300%.
Letsoalo was dismissed with immediate effect after the media report that claimed the board approved his R5.9 million salary.
Board chairperson Popo Molefe denied this and said proper procedures were not followed. The board said that Letsoalo should have known his salary wouldn’t change as part of his secondment.
Letsoalo, who stepped into the acting CEO role while working at the Transport Department, has told the parliamentary portfolio committee on transport that Prasa board has been lying about him.
He refused to resign as was directed by the agency board insisting that only the transport minister can revoke his secondment.
He also denied increasing his pay as was alleged by the media, he said the board offered him what he was entitled to for the position.
Letsoalo had through a number of media interviews since Tuesday, maintained he will remain in his position as the CEO until Transport Minister Dipou Peters fires him because he was seconded to the rail agency by the minister.
“I am still the acting chief executive officer; there is nothing wrong that I have done‚ I have not appointed myself and would never give myself an increase.
“I am seconded by the shareholder and appointed by the board chairperson as acting group CEO and to date no one has informed me of this removal. There is no need for me to even consider moving‚ I have not been told of this removal. My secondment can only be withdrawn by the minister and no one else‚” Letsoalo said adding that he has done nothing wrong.
He defended himself against the controversial report saying the report was a smear campaign and a clear sign that he was being targeted by those who sought to undermine the work he was doing at Prasa.
He further described himself as a “proud‚ incorruptible public servant” who was determined to leave Prasa in a better condition than he found it.
Nevertheless, Prasa board members went ahead and appointed a new acting CEO while the process for appointing a permanent CEO is underway.