Ezemvelo board relieved of duties

2007-11-26 00:00

Agriculture and Environmental Affairs MEC Mtholephi Mthimkhulu yesterday said the financial irregularities already existed when he assumed office last November.

He was addressing media in Durban to “set the record straight”.

“The auditor-general released an adverse report, the worst kind, and as the political executing authority, I had a responsibility to look into the matter,” he said.

He denied recent media reports alleging that his involvement in the public entity has political motives as Ezemvelo has extensive reach in rural communities. “This has nothing to do with so-called political motives,” he said.

Accounting firm Deloitte and Touche has been appointed to overlook the entity’s books in the four months that the KZN Nature Conservation Board is relieved of its accounting duties. Mthimkhulu said his department allocates R300 million every year to Ezemvelo.

“At this stage we cannot say that the money was stolen, its just not accounted for,” said KZN Agriculture and Environmental Affairs Head of Department Modidima Mannya.

The investigation will be concluded in three months. To date, no one has been suspended.

Mthimkhulu said “appropriate disciplinary action” will be taken against any offenders and the department is “still to determine who will serve on the board”.

sne@witness.co.za

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