KZN Agric forensic audits reveal fraud worth millions

Democratic Alliance media statement by Francois Rodgers, MPL
DA KZN Spokesperson on Agriculture
Today, during a meeting of the Agriculture and Rural Development portfolio committee, the department responded verbally to a written question submitted to MEC Cyril Xaba by the DA, on the subject of forensic investigations undertaken by the Department.

While the DA commends the department and the MEC for reporting back to the committee, the information provided earlier today is none the less shocking.

The DA can reveal that;

  •  The investigations commenced in March 2013
  • There are a total of 10 investigations with seven completed
  • To date, almost R60 million has been found to have been fraudulently spent.  This does not include the three incomplete investigations
  • The Special Investigation Unit (SIU) has instigated its own probe into these matters and the Department of Agriculture as a whole
  • So far, the investigations have cost the department in excess of R10 million. This does not include the remaining investigation costs or any costs incurred by the SIU investigation

 

Despite full copies of the forensic investigation being at today’s committee meeting, members were denied access to them.  Instead the committee chairman ruled that they could only be viewed by members on request to the department.

Of particular concern is the admission that most of the fraud committed by departmental staff happened at provincial head office and not at regional levels.  Gaps in management controls were cited as the cause of such fraud and corruption.

I have today written to the acting HOD of the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development, Ms.Majola (copy of correspondence attached) requesting that I be allowed access to the forensic reports on the 4th March 2015 at 9am. I await her positive response in the interests of transparency and good governance.

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