Fisheries dept faces corruption headache

An auditing firm has found traces of multi-billion rand fraud in the Fisheries Department.

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Tina Joemat-Pettersson. Picture: Sapa.

CAPE TOWN - An investigation into corruption at the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Department has found evidence of apparent tender and financial irregularities.

In March, the department tasked auditing firm Ernst & Young to investigate the awarding of contracts to Smit Amandla Marine since 1999.

Smit Amandla Marine was put in charge of managing the department's fleet of ships.

The provisional report of that probe was recently released.

It revealed that contract extensions awarded to Smit Amandla Marine, since its initial deal ended in 2005, may have not been in line with departmental tender and procurement regulations.

The investigation has also found traces of multi-billion rand fraud.

But the department's acting director general Sipho Ntombele stresses that the findings are provisional, and no one has been found guilty of anything as yet.