The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) says the recruitment of its Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), Zolani Kgosietsile Matthews, was regulated by its recruitment and selection policy.

The agency has dismissed reports by GROUNDUP indicating that Matthews’s recruitment was inconsistent with its policy. The report alleged that PRASA policy states employees should retire at 63. Matthews is 64.

PRASA board member, Smanga Sethene, said the recruitment and selection policy prescribes no age restriction to be employed at PRASA.

“The recruitment process for any position at PRASA is regulated by PRASA’s Recruitment and Selection Policy, which was signed and adopted on 2 July 2020, months before the appointment of the current board.

“We wish to reiterate as the board that since our appointment, we have neither amended no HR policy, nor have we devised or signed any HR policy.

“Currently, PRASA has more than 23 employees who are above the age of 63, and they continue to be of great service to PRASA. Their employ at PRASA is legal,” Sethene said on Monday.

The service provider received 58 CVs for the position and after a pre-screening process, 20 candidates were interviewed by the service provider.

“The selection process continued and top 10 candidates were shortlisted. Out of the 10 candidates shortlisted, there was a final shortlist of six candidates, who were interviewed on 30 January 2021.

“All six candidates were given a case study to prepare a presentation for the panel, setting out how they intend handling the work of the business if appointed,” Sethene said.

Following a 15-minute presentation, candidates were asked the same questions prepared by the panel.

“Interviews were recorded and were conducted virtually in compliance with COVID-19 protocols. Following the completion of the interviews, HR representatives and the Acting Group Executive: Human Resources, who sat as secretary and observer, Ms N Kondowe, indicated that the interview process was conducted consistent with the policies of PRASA,” Sethene said.

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