17/03/2017 08:50 SAST | Updated 17/03/2017 12:07 SAST

Dipuo Peters Says Axed Prasa Boss Letsoalo's Salary Hike Was Fair

The transport minister sees no issue with Collins Letsoalo's pay increase from R1,7m to R5,9m per year.

Peter Foley/Bloomberg

Transport minister Dipuo Peters has defended axed Prasa boss, Collins Letsoalo's 350% pay increase, The Times reported on Friday.

Letsoalo was fired by the Prasa board after his salary was increased from R1,7million to R5,9 million per annum. The board was fired by Peters shortly afterwards, and former board members have now challenged their axing in court.

But in court papers filed this week, Peters reportedly said his salary increase was justified, as some employees reporting to him earned over R4 million a year.

According to the Times, Peters said Letsoalo's remuneration package was the same as that given to his predecessor.

The board reportedly argued that, according to Prasa's policy, Letsoalo was only entitled to his basic salary plus a 12 percent acting allowance. But Peters said this did not apply to Letsoalo as he was not a Prasa employee. Letsoalo was seconded to Prasa from the Department of Transport.

A legal opinion reportedly filed in court, and obtained by Prasa, held that the increase in salary was irregular, as there was a difference between someone acting as a CEO and someone who was permanently appointed.

Former chairperson of the board, Popo Molefe, in an affidavit to the court, also argued that the increase was irregular.

According to The Times, he said Letsoalo's appointment did not have the board's approval.