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Zokwana orders forensic audit into officials involved in abalone poaching

He also wants lifestyle audits to be conducted on them.

Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Senzeni Zokwana. Picture: GCIS.

CAPE TOWN - Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana has ordered a forensic audit into the involvement of department officials in abalone poaching.

He also wants lifestyle audits to be conducted on them.

It follows an undercover police bust in February at the department’s offices in Gansbaai, where several officials were arrested for their alleged involvement in an abalone poaching syndicate.

Zokwana says he’s concerned that officials in his department are colluding with syndicates to smuggle poached abalone from government storage facilities.

In May, men dressed as police officers raided a Cape Town storage facility and made off with stolen abalone.

“We believe to succeed in dealing with poaching, we don’t need internal participation within our office.”

Zokwana’s now given the order that the department no longer receives, stores or dispenses abalone.

“The aim is to ensure our people from monitoring, control and surveillance do not sit around those stores to watch poached abalone, but rather spend more time ensuring no further poaching takes place.”

In the future, this job will be handled by a private company.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)

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