AXED Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) chief engineer Daniel Mtimkulu "bizarrely" reported for duty at the state agency’s Braamfontein offices on Tuesday morning, but police were called to escort him out.
Mr Mtimkulu was introduced last year as the designer of the controversial Afro 4,000 locomotives that were alleged to have been unsuitable for South African infrastructure.
The issue was that the trains were 4.264m high whereas the national limit was 3.965m. It later emerged that Mr Mtimkulu did not have the qualifications he claimed to have. He was suspended and subsequently fired in absentia last year after an internal disciplinary for gross dishonesty.
Prasa spokesperson Victor Dlamini said Mr Mtimkulu was fired in August last year and since then had had no relationship of any sort with the agency‚ saying he had no job to return to at Prasa.
"His appearance at Prasa‚ where he used to work, is a truly bizarre turn of events that only matches his fraudulent claim to be a doctor. Once (again) Mtimkulu only managed to make a fool of himself‚" he said.
Mr Dlamini said Mr Mtimkulu had claimed he had a national diploma in mechanical engineering‚ a B Tech degree in engineering (maintenance) from the Vaal University of Technology‚ a degree in mechanical and maintenance engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand‚ a masters degree in engineering as well as a doctorate in engineering management.
The state rail agency laid charges of fraud against Mr Mtimkulu, but Mr Dlamini said his understanding was that the charges had been withdrawn.
"Prasa has formally requested the chief prosecutor to provide reasons for the decision to withdraw the prosecution.
"However, it must be clearly understood that this does not prevent the dedicated law enforcement team and prosecutorial team from charging Mr Mtimkulu with the same charges and additional charges that arise out of the investigation‚" he said.
Mr Mtimkulu could not be reached for comment.