THE Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) has asked the country’s High Court to declare two contracts awarded to a security company invalid two months after asking for the cancellation of an agreement to supply locomotives.

Prasa wants two contracts awarded to Siyangena Technologies worth about R4bn declared invalid because the company was given an advantage through "bid-rigging" and the contracts were coupled with alleged "corrupt activities", according to an affidavit by chairman Popo Molefe, which was filed with a motion on February 2 at the High Court in Pretoria.

The contracts were awarded to Siyangena for the supply and installation of integrated security access management systems at Prasa stations, according to an e-mailed statement from the rail company and a copy of the court filing. The tenders were designed so that only Siyangena could supply the equipment, Prasa said.

‘Systemic failure’

Public Protector Thuli Madonsela said in a report published in August that an investigation into Prasa covering the period from about 2008-2013 found the company had a culture of "systemic failure" to comply with its own supply-chain policy.

Ms Madonsela also concluded that former CEO Lucky Montana acted improperly regarding the awarding of service contracts and treatment of some employees. Mr Montana did not answer a call made to his mobile phone on Sunday.

Prasa asked the High Court in Johannesburg in December to cancel a R3.5bn contract awarded to Swifambo Rail Leasing in March 2013 to supply the company with locomotives made by Vossloh Espana. The bidding process included "irrational" specifications whose sole purpose was to rig the outcome, and the decision was unreasonable and unlawful, Mr Molefe said at the time.

Prasa spokesman Victor Dlamini said by phone on Sunday he could not provide any contact details for Siyangena.