Montana's Zondo complaint dismissed, but he plans appeal
Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has dismissed former Passenger Rail Agency (Prasa) CEO Lucky Montana’s impeachment complaint against Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, saying it was ‘lacking in substance’.
But Montana, who is expected to appear before Zondo at the State Capture Inquiry, possibly in September, as part of its far-reaching probe into alleged multi-billion-rand looting at Prasa, said he will seek to appeal Mogoeng’s decision.
Earlier this month, notes Business Day, Montana lodged a ‘gross misconduct and/or gross incompetence’ complaint against Zondo, which he insisted was not motivated by any desire to discredit the inquiry but rather his belief that it was ‘clearly pursuing a witch-hunt against some of us to support certain agendas’.
Montana lodged his complaint just days after the inquiry led evidence about its investigation into whether his purchase of properties valued at close to R25m could be linked to Siyangena Technologies, a company that received R4.4bn in contracts from Prasa.
JSC secretary Sello Chiloane reportedly told Business Day that Mogoeng, as chair of the commission’s Judicial Conduct Committee, had evaluated Montana’s complaint and found, under the provisions of the JSC Act, that it should be dismissed without the need for further investigation.
Montana said he is determined to exercise his right to appeal Mogoeng’s decision.
According to Business Day he has refuted any suggestion that his attack on Zondo’s fitness may have been motivated by his pending appearance before the inquiry, when he insists he will show that the significant levels of corruption, fraud and financial irregularity found by the courts, former Public Protector Thuli Madonsela and the Auditor-General to have occurred at Prasa never happened.
In his complaint to the JSC, Montana expressed unhappiness over Zondo having questioned why law enforcement agencies had failed to act on the apparent evidence of significant wrongdoing at Prasa, which had resulted in successful legal challenges to at least one corrupt contract.
Montana accused Zondo of ‘unduly putting pressure on the Hawks and the NPA’.
Despite reiterating his belief that ‘Zondo and his commission have an agenda and a predetermined outcome’, Montana said he remains ‘committed’ to testifying.
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