'Public Protector is protecting gangsters and not public,' says Zackie Achmat

Civil society organisation Unite Behind has approached the Pretoria High Court seeking to have Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane's report into corruption and maladministration at the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) set aside.

RELATED: No protection for whistleblowers as report taken on review - Public Protector

Bongani Bingwa chats to the organisation's secretariate member Zackie Achmat give more insight on the matter.

He says the organisation is taking the matter on review as South Africans suffer from trains being delayed.

The passenger rail system for commuters has collapsed and that hasn't happened by accident. The extent of robbery and looting at Prasa is between R14 and R24 billion and that has led to a mini-collapse at Prasa.

Zackie Achmat, Secretariate member - Unite Behind

He says the previous Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela pointed out that there was corruption in Prasa and because she didn't have resources to pursue the matter, handed it over to Mkhwebane.

Mkhwebane was left to investigate 11 of the 37 complaints, he adds.

At the beginning of the year, Mkhwebane released a report, which was a follow up to her predecessor Madonsela’s investigation on Prasa, which revealed widescale graft.

Mkhwebane’s report on Prasa was proof that she did not understand the nature and importance of her constitutional duties, Achmat explains.

Mkhwebane failed to investigate at all, any of the 11 complaints in detail, in any aspect. She didn't subpoena anyone and didn't interview the people who were implicated.

Zackie Achmat, Secretariate member - Unite Behind

Achmat believes that there are ulterior motives behind why Mkhwebane didn't investigate these complaints arguing that the individuals implicated are politically connected.

In my view, the Public Protector is protecting gangsters and not the public.

Zackie Achmat, Secretariate member - Unite Behind

Listen below to the full conversation:


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