South Africa: Prasa’s Head of Engineering Quits

Prasa on Monday confirmed that its head of engineering services, Daniel Mthimkhulu, has resigned.”Mthimkhulu was facing a disciplinary inquiry relating to gross dishonesty and fraudulent misrepresentation of his academic qualifications,” Prasa spokesperson, Sipho Sithole, told Fin24.

“Prasa will proceed with its criminal case brought against Mr Mthimkhulu,” Sithole said.On July 17, Mthimkhulu was suspended with immediate effect following reports that he was not officially registered with the profession’s statutory body.According to a Netwerk24 report, the Engineering Council of South Africa (Ecsa) rejected Dr Daniel Mtimkhulu’s application to register with it in 2006.

On July 16, Prasa announced that its CEO, Lucky Montana would not have to work the remainder of his notice period, which started on June 1, until December.

Prasa has faced questions over the purchase of new diesel locomotives from Spain, and over a R51bn tender for the purchase of 600 trains for its fleet renewal programme.

The agency had reportedly ignored warnings from engineers that the 13 Afro 4000 locomotives, imported from Spain for R600m, were too high for local railways and could damage overhead cables.

On July 6, Montana and Mthimkhulu denied this.

“We meet the safety standards,” Montana said at the time.

“We have bought one of the best locomotives in the world and we are not even apologetic about that.”

Prasa bought 20 diesel Afro 4 000 locomotives, plus another 50 hybrid ones, for a total of R3.5bn.

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