WC govt to pursue court battle against AG over Agri Dept audit after elections

The provincial government wants the court to review and set aside the AG’s interpretation of the provincial Agriculture Department's audit outcome.

FILE: Auditor-General Kimi Makwetu. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The 8 May general elections will not bring about an end to the court tussle between the Western Cape government and the Auditor-General.

The provincial government wants the court to review and set aside the AG’s interpretation of the provincial Agriculture Department's audit outcome.

Parties are disagreeing on an interpretation on the AG’s findings for payments of R266 million made to entities that deal with relief for farmers and disaster relief projects.

The AG requested the department to alter its record of a R266 million payment to Casidra and Hortgro. The entities provide relief for farmers.

The AG wants the department to change the payment classification from transfer payments to goods and services.
Only when this payment classification is changed, will the AG give an opinion on the department's 2016/17 and 2017/18 financial statements.

The legislature’s committee on public accounts has seen several clashes over the issue.

Committee chairperson Ferlon Christians says the courts are to decide.

“We have elections, so the new Parliament can pursue the matter and take it further.

If the province wins the case, it would give them a 100% unqualified audit rate.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)