Prasa boss denies he increased salary

Monday, February 27, 2017

Pretoria - Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) acting group CEO Collins Letsoalo has dismissed allegations he demanded a salary which was four times his agreed salary.

The claims appeared in an article in the Sunday Times at the weekend.

 “I dispel the notion that I have increased my salary. I will never seek to get what I am not entitled to,” Letsoalo said on Monday during a special media briefing.

The newspaper claimed that he demanded a salary increase from the pay package of R1.3 million to a R5.9 million pay package.

It also alleged that he fired acting group executive for human capital Bhekani Khumalo for refusing to increase his salary as well as demanded a chauffeur-driven car and a company cell phone with unlimited calls.

During the media briefing in Pretoria Letsoalo distributed a letter confirming his remuneration package at R5 986 140.07.

According to his outside remuneration package, the Human Capital Management states that it does not make a call on the chauffer-driven cars.

“Should you wish to make use of this benefit, it would be subject to fringe benefit tax as prescribed by the South African Revenue Services (SARS). A decision must be taken on who will be liable for this fringe benefit,” said an email which confirmed Letsoalo’s remuneration package.

Letsoalo said he offered to pay for the benefit.

His package also included a company cellphone on an unlimited package, as part of his benefits outside the remuneration package.

“Mr Bhekani Khumalo works for Prasa and is not dismissed. Mr Khumalo used to be acting group executive responsible for human capital. A position that he held for 11 months. I took a decision to take him back to the position that he occupied,” Letsoalo said.

He said a discussion with the Editor of the Sunday Times took place on Saturday where he complained about the behaviour of the journalist who was working on the story.

“He ended up agreeing that there was no indication that I had increased my own salary, he then undertook to send us more questions.

“We waited for four hours and those were not forthcoming. When we enquired we were told that the understanding was that they would just proceed with the answers that we had given them,” Letsoalo said.

He said the Sunday Times was given the confirmation letter for his remuneration package and emails which detailed his package.

Media campaign seeks to discredit acting CEO

Letsoalo said he had been told there are other articles that have been lined up from people who seek to destabilise Prasa.

“I hear the articles that are going to come out talk about my colleagues that I brought with me from the Department of Transport. I also hear that another one will talk about the increase of one of the group executives.

“No amount of front page attacks are going to worry me. I remain proud, an incorruptible public servant,” Letsoalo said.

He said Prasa was in a better place today as it was fighting against corruption.

“We have just concluded our turnaround plan; we have just finished our corporate plan that we presented to the shareholder on Saturday,” Letsoalo said.

He said the article has affected his family but he is adamant that there is nothing that will deter him from fighting corruption.

Letsoalo said he will seek a legal opinion on what steps to take against the Sunday Times. – SAnews.gov.za

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