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Daff summoned to face music on abalone catastrophe

05 April 2018 - 10:20 By Aron Hyman
The latest allegation‚ revealed in Times Select on Wednesday‚ quoted a police crime intelligence document that recounts how an undercover operation aimed at poaching kingpins was allegedly derailed by the government official in charge of thwarting poaching and smuggling‚ Nkosinathi Dana.
The latest allegation‚ revealed in Times Select on Wednesday‚ quoted a police crime intelligence document that recounts how an undercover operation aimed at poaching kingpins was allegedly derailed by the government official in charge of thwarting poaching and smuggling‚ Nkosinathi Dana.
Image: bakhtiarzein / 123RF Stock Photo

A Times Select report on alleged corruption in the fight against organised crime has sparked a demand for answers from a senior Western Cape politician.

Beverley Schäfer‚ chairman of the provincial legislature’s standing committee on economic opportunities‚ tourism and agriculture‚ said on Thursday she would be making a formal request that the Department of Agriculture‚ Forestry and Fisheries appear before the committee “to account for allegations of internal factions and corruption related to abalone poaching”.

“In light of numerous corruption allegations laid against Daff in relation to fishing quotas and the facilitating of abalone poaching in the Western Cape‚ this department must now explain not only its failure to deliver on its mandate‚ but also its apparent involvement in the poaching of abalone which is a major socio-economic crime in our province‚” said Schäfer.

The latest allegation‚ revealed in Times Select on Wednesday‚ quoted a police crime intelligence document that recounts how an undercover operation aimed at poaching kingpins was allegedly derailed by the government official in charge of thwarting poaching and smuggling‚ Nkosinathi Dana.

Said Schäfer: “There are also allegations that factions within the department itself are levelling similar charges against each other for personal gain. This is yet further proof that abalone poaching syndicates are being fuelled by the department internally to favour a select few.

“Daff has formerly chosen not to appear before my standing committee for this very reason. There has long been suspicion surrounding the department’s lack of will to tackle abalone poaching in the Western Cape province.”

Schäfer said the provincial government had no mandate over fisheries or the police‚ yet was left to deal with the aftermath of “small fishing communities destroyed by this environmental crime which is now out of control”.

She added: “It is high time Daff came clean on its unwillingness to tackle a severe crime which is ravaging our small fishing communities.”

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