Former Acting Prasa CEO Claims To Have Received Death Threats

Collins Letsoalo at Monday's press briefing.
Collins Letsoalo at Monday's press briefing.

Former acting CEO of the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) Collins Letsoalo says his life is in danger because of his opposition to “wrongdoing” at the agency that also led to his dismissal following a now-retracted newspaper report.

“I have got death threats, people planning to take me out. I am prepared to die for that and the evidence will be there,” he told Radio 702’s Bongani Bingwa on Tuesday morning. He said he had made sure that the evidence he has would surface should he “be taken out”.

A Sunday Times article detailing Letsoalo’s salary award that was allegedly based on an Auditor General report was retracted on Sunday after the Auditor General revealed that no such report existed. The former Prasa boss has now called on the police to find the individual who manufactured the fake Auditor General report.

The Prasa board unanimously voted to dismiss Letsoalo after the Sunday Times revealed that he allegedly increased his salary from R1.7m to R5.9m per annum in October. He, however, claims that his dismissal had nothing to do with his salary, instead it had to do with alleged corruption being hidden by the board.

“I disagreed with the board on the approach of investigations, the way they are doing things, the way they were aiding corrupt executives there, which is why you will see a problem at Prasa.

“They were trying to hide wrongdoing, they pushed certain invoices of a certain supplier, it is clear that they were going to benefit,” he further claimed.

Letsoalo said the board turned against him when he began to differ with its members.

“I blame the board for my dismissal. In the beginning they agreed with me, but when I differed a board member then turned against me,” he said.

When asked if he had sought help from the police with the death threats, he alleged that there was never progress in cases against powerful people in South Africa.

“I opened a case of perjury in 2017 with the police after a man lied under oath against me and that case is going nowhere. There are powerful people in this country. I am tired of going to the police and opening cases,” he said.

Letsoalo said he would pursue a civil suit against the DA, Prasa and a journalist for tainting his reputation, which ultimately led to his axing at Prasa.

“I will wait for my lawyers to do the calculations, but I am suing for the money lost and my reputation. I can’t even apply for any position anymore because people have tainted me,” he said.

He said the DA had called him “a thief” and refused to retract the statement after he wrote a letter asking the party to do so.

“They must stand by their story in court.”