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Monday Jul 06, 2020

PRASA Property purchases under scrutiny

Property purchases allegedly made by a law firm with links to former Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) chief executive Lucky Montana have come under scrutiny at the State Capture Commission of Inquiry led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo.

The inquiry yesterday continued its probe into allegations of rife corruption that is said to have taken place at the state-owned entity.

Following evidence given by former Prasa board chairperson Popo Molefe early this week, the commission this time heard evidence from Nicholas Johannes Loubser - a partner at Loubser van Wyk Inc.

Loubser faced questions about his company's knowledge on questionable dealings that a former partner at his law firm had allegedly conducted involving Montana and a shell company by the name of Precise Trade and Invest.

In his sworn statement, Loubser told the commission that he had become concerned about media reports that began circulating in 2015 about his former business partner Riaan van der Walt and properties he bought that were allegedly linked to Montana. The allegations had linked Van der Walt's company (Precise Trade and Invest) to property purchases involving Montana.

Loubser said that when the media reports started, Van der Walt denied the claims and instead shared paperwork that detailed his shell company's trading transactions with various companies, which included a company called TMM Holding groups.

TMM was linked to a businessman called Mario Ferreira.

Ferreira is said to have allegedly used Van der Walt's law firm for various business transactions, some of which included work for Siyagena Technologies - a company that received various contracts from Prasa while Montana was chief executive.

Loubser had no exact details on transactions made by Van der Walt, but confirmed that Van der Walt had done various work outside the company.
He insisted that he and other business partners had not been aware that he had dealings with Montana.

Van der Walt has since left the country and now apparently lives in the US.

The head of the commission's legal team said that through questioning Loubser, the commission was attempting to probe if links really existed between Montana and Van der Walt through Precise Trade and Invest.

Montana has previously insisted that Prasa was never captured and, that at any time, he would be willing to reveal what really transpired.
The inquiry continues today.

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