Multibillion rand corruption confirmed

A forensic investigation commissioned by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) confirmed corruption worth billions of rand in the vessel management contract awarded to Smit Amandla Marine (Sam).

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The forensic report by Ernest & Young confirmed substantial evidence of irregular contracts awarded to Sam or different guises thereof from 1995 until 31 March 2012. Acting director-general of DAFF, Sipho Ntombela, recently received the report, commissioned to probe procurement processes and systems in the fisheries branch of DAFF.

The report reveals that the agreement concluded in 2005 and subsequent extensions between Sam and DAFF failed to comply with tender board regulations, departmental procurement policies, National Treasury regulations, income tax regulations and the Public Finance Management Act.

The Sam affiliate companies had the contract for the maintenance and repair of the government fleet from 2000 to 2012. Further investigation revealed that it may have had the contract from 1995 to 2000. This is being verified by further forensic analysis. Evidence indicates that the state was defrauded to the extent of about R1,6 billion. Invoices worth about R600 million have recently been uncovered and could indicate more extensive defrauding of the state. 

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