Scathing judgement delivered against former Prasa executive who produced a forged Offer Letter in court as evidence

Daniel Mthimkhulu was ordered to pay back R5.7m after lying about his qualifications and further defrauding the rail agency.

Former Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (Prasa) executive Daniel Mthimkhulu has been ordered to pay back the R5.7m earned while in a position that he was appointed to after lying about his qualifications. This News24 report explains how Gauteng High Court in Johannesburg Judge Leoni Windell handed down a scathing judgment after Prasa sought to recover money paid to Mthimkhulu as a result of him being appointed to the position of Executive Manager: Engineering Services in 2010.

Mthimkhulu not only lied about having a National Diploma and a Bachelors’ Degree from the Vaal University of Technology, he further defrauded the state rail agency to get a salary increase. 

He has been ordered to pay the state rail agency for defrauding it by lying about his qualifications in order to obtain a senior position and thereafter presenting a fake offer letter from a German company to push up his salary to R2.8m a year. 

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court of Appeal previously found that Mthimkhulu played a central role in the unlawful R3.5bn tender awarded to Swifambo Rail Leasing for the supply of trains in 2013 – the so-called "tall trains" scandal.

Windell's judgment was scathing of Mthimkhulu in finding in Prasa's favour, dismissing all his evidence and accepting Prasa's evidence of the fraud he committed.

Mthimkhulu denied having lied about his CV and argued that the job offer letter from DB Schenker found in his personnel file was part of a conspiracy to destroy his career.  He reportedly argued that the increase was instead given on the basis of an offer from a different German company, P-Tech Systems, which had made him an offer of 200 000 euros.

Despite providing evidence of this letter, the judge found that the P-Tech letter was a recently created forgery. The judge in fact handed down further punitive costs order against Mthimkhulu as a result of his conduct during the trial and dismissed all the evidence he had put forward in the trial.

“I agree with counsel for Prasa that it is highly improbable that an international company with the reputation and profile of P-Tech would send a letter containing blatant spelling and grammatical errors and formatting inconsistencies. It is more probable that Mr Mthimkhulu authored the letter by taking an invoice from P-Tech and removing the invoice contents, and inserting the typed portions containing a job offer,” stated the judge, according to the News24 report.