Marine patrol vessels yet to set sail

2012-08-17 11:56

Cape Town - State marine patrol vessels will only set sail by October after being berthed at Simon's Town since the navy took over operational control of them in April, Fisheries Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said on Thursday.

Replying in writing to a parliamentary question, Joemat-Pettersson said the navy required training to operate the research and patrol vessels.

"At this stage the department is in the process of recruiting specialised personnel to support the navy."

Attempts to attract suitable staff had so far failed as a result of the low salary packages being offered.

The navy was roped in after the contract with Smit Amandla Marine to operate the vessels ended on March 31.

Joemat-Pettersson then announced the awarding of a new tender to investment and fishing firm Sekunjalo had been cancelled, amid corruption allegations.

The awarding of the tender, as well as the Smit Amandla Marine contract, was being investigated.

Asked about the details of the probe on Thursday, Joemat-Pettersson said: "The investigation covers the period 1999 to 2012. The investigation is being conducted by the SAPS and an internationally recognised auditing firm. The investigation is being conducted in phases."

She said other agencies were also involved in an inquiry.

"Importantly the Hawks and the Asset Forfeiture Unit are busy with an extremely sensitive and important investigation into corruption in the fisheries branch in excess of R1bn relating to the irregular, illegal extension of this contract with the private sector," she said.

A report from Public Protector Thuli Madonsela into the debacle was expected by next week.

DA MP Pieter van Dalen lodged a complaint with Madonsela's office after Smit Amandla Marine won a court interdict against the awarding of the new tender.

  • patricia.dewet.92 - 2012-08-17 12:14

    This is shocking, she is going to fall of the boat. They just make a mess of everything, the real fisherman go hungry and the poachers are laughing.

      john.loveland.9 - 2012-08-17 14:34

      Sounds like a cover up of a cover up.... or just a pack of lies protecting the incompetent.

  • pieter.vandalen.1 - 2012-08-17 12:27

    The minister is panicking. What has the minister done in 7 months. They are still trying to get people to man the ships. The poaching have been going on in the mean time. Our shores are unprotected and the minister is chasing spooks from 1999. Who was responsible and accountable then. Was it Vali Moosa or Martinus van Skalkwyk. Why have we not seen arrests and people being brought before the court. I submit that the minister is reaching for straws. She has made promises like this before and to date nothing. How can we trust her. Why would she compromise a sensitive investigation by going public about it. It just don't make sense.

      Desilusionada - 2012-08-17 13:08

      Dear Mr. van Dalen, To me it makes sense, why she would. It should to you as well, otherwise you would also have been a member of the ANC. You really have to give yourself more credit. She is at the end of her tether. A sparkling example of cadre deployment and gender equality gone wrong. While the unbridled looting of our sea resources carries on, she is fiddling on a bigger violin than UKnowWho. Heaven forbid that we would even remotely have a teeny, passing, fleeting, inkling of a thought that somehow it would be to her benefit that this carries on.......

  • Desilusionada - 2012-08-17 12:38

    "At this stage the department is in the process of recruiting specialised personnel to support the navy." Attempts to attract suitable staff had so far failed as a result of the low salary packages being offered. Oh really? Or is it because the SAA sets such a fine example of how to recruit only black people? Where are these specialised people coming from? Other positions somewhere in the country? And who will fill their shoes? But carry on Ms.Fishy Fashion. The taxpayers have deep pockets and will gladly pay for inflated salaries.... Until another Marikana....

  • jansteyn4 - 2012-08-17 18:11

    Joemat-Pettersson gave Zuma the 1 billion rand it took running these vessels to build himself a town. Disgusting bunch of thieves.

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