Collins Letsoalo, acting CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) has been let go by the parastatal with immediate effect. However, according to an email he sent to Prasa board members, he is not going anywhere.
Letsoalo told The Times that there was no need for him to consider leaving the parastatal, and added that only Transport Minister Dipou Peters could remove him as she appointed him as Prasa’s acting CEO.
“There is no need for me to even consider moving‚ I have not been told of this removal,” he said. “My secondment can only be withdrawn by the minister and no one else.”
Letsoalo was let go after reports suggested that he orchestrated a 350% pay increase for himself. This amounted to a R5.9 million package from an initial R1.3 million.
Prasa’s Board said that it did not approve such a salary increase or payment of an annual salary package of R5.9 million.
“In fact, the agreed and official salary remains the R1.3 million annual package, which was approved by the Minister of Transport, as per the terms of the secondment package that was agreed to by Letsoalo,” Prasa said in a statement.
Prasa said that all matters pertaining to the alleged authorisation of the salary hike by the Board’s chairperson in a letter was part of the considerations on the extent of Letsoalo’s added duties at the parastatal during his secondment period.
“This letter did in no way give an automatic authorisation of a salary increase without following due process, as clearly stated in the letter from the chairman of the Board,” Prasa said.
It added that the Prasa Remuneration Policy on acting positions provides for an increase not exceeding 12% of the package on the acting position.
According to Prasa’s Human Resource policy relating to group CEO salary packages, it is the prerogative of the Human Capital and Remunerations Committee, which is part of the Prasa Board Committee, to recommend such changes and communicate such to the Human Resource executive concerned.
“In the case of Letsoalo, this was not done,” Prasa said, which subsequently flouted all procedures and protocols. This left the board with no choice but to terminate his temporary tenure with immediate effect.
“The process of appointing a permanent PRASA group CEO is currently underway with advertisements already out in the relevant Sunday papers,” Prasa said.