Francois Rodgers, MPL
DA KZN Spokesperson on Agriculture:
THE Democratic Alliance yesterday examined five out of the 10 NMK forensic reports into various allegations of fraud, corruption and maladministration within the KZN Department of Agriculture.
Access to these reports was only granted after a formal written request. The visit was also conducted under strict departmental supervision and conditions – and only after the signing of a confidentiality agreement.
The five reports scrutinised by the DA covered the following investigations:
- Appointment of service providers for events management
- Appointment and transfer of staff
- Purchase and distribution of fertiliser
- Purchase and distribution of seeds
- Mjindi (PTY) Ltd activity.
The following reports still remain outstanding:
- Nguni cattle acquisition and distribution
- Fencing material acquisition and distribution
- Site levelling
- Mechanisation services, acquisition and distribution
- Potato washers, acquisition and distribution.
The five completed reports come at a cost to KZN of more than R10 million.
The information contained in these reports is explosive. However, the DA is now confined to confidentiality as to the contents of the NMK forensic reports.
The questions that need to be raised are;
- Why it has taken more than a year for these NMK reports to be presented to the Agriculture Portfolio and why only after the DA submitted a written question to MEC Cyril Xaba did the wheels started turning?
- Why are these forensic reports being kept under wraps by the department?
- Why is it that after more than 2 years five of the forensic reports has yet to be completed?
- Why all the secrecy?
There is a further twist in the tail of these NMK reports. The DA has also been informed that the SIU and the Hawks have got into the action relating to investigations in the KZN Department of Agriculture.
Why, when most of the ground work has already been covered by the current forensic investigations? The following must be answered;
- Is there more than meets the eye when it comes to the current scope of work undertaken?
- Is this just another ANC cover up of it cadres and comrades ‘ala’ the SIU investigation into Nkandla contradicting the Public Protectors findings?
- Were the investigations undertaken of sub-standard quality and if so who will be held accountable for the estimated R20 million costs incurred once all 10 reports are complete?
The DA will continue to hold the ANC-led government in KZN accountable. This issue cannot be allowed to be swept under the carpet or dragged out infinitum. It is all about accountability and the time has come for the ANC provincial leadership to walk the talk.
The DA calls for the immediate release of the concluded NMK forensic reports.
We call upon KZN Premier, Senzo Mchunu to show his commitment to the people of KwaZulu-Natal and to honour his recent statements of ‘zero tolerance’ toward maladministration, corruption and fraud.
These allegations and the findings of the reports are about public money.
These reports need to be made public and the justice system needs to take its course.
The public have the right to know.