Prasa Afro 4000 train contractor buys R27 million game farm


The managing director of the company that won the contract to supply Prasa with the controversial Afro 4000 trains blew R27 million on a game farm in Limpopo after receiving his first payment from the SOE.

This is according to a report by the City Press, which said that the director – Auswell Mashaba of Swifambo Rail Leasing – owns property worth R50 million after the deal.

Swifambo won the R3.5 billion contract to supply the trains in 2012, and subcontracted the deal to Spain’s Vossloh Espana.

Prasa made a payment of R460 million to Swifambo in April 2013, the paper reported, and five days later, a company called Zetacor Six – which has Mashaba as a sole director – purchased a luxury lodge for R27 million.

Clear Bubbles Trading, another company owned by Mashaba, bought yet another luxury property in Waterkloof for R8 million soon after, followed by yet another Mashaba-owned company – Avraspark – purchasing a R3 million property in Hoedspruit.

Most recently, Zetacor Six bought a R12 million property in April 2014.

In July the Afro 4000 trains made headlines after Rapport revealed that the locomotives were unsuitable for South African infrastructure, as the height of the trains is 4.264m, whereas the national limit was 3.965m.

The problems with the Afro 4000 trains continued after one of the locomotives derailed. Prasa officials struggled to establish what went wrong, because the trains only ‘communicated’ in Spanish.

In November it was revealed that Prasa wants to return the Afro 4000 trains which are unsuitable for local conditions, and get a refund for the R2.65 billion it has already paid for the order.

The full report is available in the City Press for 13 December 2015