Popo Molefe.

Popo Molefe.

The former board of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) was reinstated with immediate effect at the parastatal on Monday, as ordered by Judge Peter Mabuse of the Pretoria High Court.

This includes Popo Molefe, Zodwa Manase, Mashile Matlala, William Steenkamp, Clement Manyungwana, and Tefetso Phitsane.

Molefe was reinstated as the board’s chairman, however he was said to be out of the country at that time.

Other board members who disapproved of their removal felt this was going to jeopardised an internal investigation involving the irregular expenditure of R14 billion at the parastatal.

Steenkamp said that as a board, they had no idea of the massive challenges that awaited them when they arrived at the company. He added: “…we are not so naïve to believe that we not be greeted by resistance and distortions of facts when we are busy correcting the wrongs and shortcomings”.

The board was dissolved in early March by former transport minister Dipuo Peters. This came two weeks after the parastatal sacked its then acting CEO Collins Letsoalo for authorising a 350% salary hike for himself.

Mabuse said the board members proved that they had a right to challenge Peters’ decision, and added that Prasa must be properly regulated, independent of government’s interference.

Mabuse also overturned a decision to appoint an interim board headed by former Sanral CEO Nazir Alli.

The Department of Transport said it was still studying the judgment and will comment in due course.