Jacob Zuma’s NGO canned

2013-10-13 06:00

Government departments have binned a R900 million food-security initiative chaired by President Jacob Zuma and run by his cousin Deebo Mzobe.

City Press can reveal that both the departments of agriculture and rural development – the main drivers of what was intended to be a government-wide food-security plan driven by the Masibambisane Rural Development Initiative – have decided to cut ties with Zuma’s nongovernmental organisation (NGO).

In June, there was widespread outrage when it emerged that almost R900 million from different government departments had been pledged to a new food-security programme administered by Masibambisane at a meeting at the presidential guesthouse in Pretoria.

Mzobe, who chaired the meeting, emerged as a pivotal player in the scheme.

But Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson told City Press: “Masibambisane was never an implementing agent, and they will not be for Fetsa Tlala (a new food policy, which Zuma is set to launch later this month in the Northern Cape). They were a mobilising agent. They are finished. They have done their work.”

» Get City Press newspaper for the full story, including why the project was canned.

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