Response to allegations contained in City Press article dated 25 March 2018
The Honourable Minister of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Mr. Senzeni Zokwana (“the Minister”) issues the following statement regarding the allegations contained in the article published by the City Press on 25 March 2018 (“the article”).
The Minister denies the bribery allegations against him contained in the article. He further denies that he has been involved in any unlawful conduct in relation to the awarding of contracts for processing and sale of confiscated abalone, or any plans to raise money for the African National Congress through the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (“the Department”).
The Minister welcomes the investigation by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (“DPCI”) into all the allegations contained in the article and is confident that the investigation will establish that the allegations made against him are unfounded, false, and defamatory.
On 24 November 2017, the Western Cape High Court ordered that the contract concluded between the Department and Willjarro (Pty) Ltd (“Willjarro”) for the processing, marketing and selling of confiscated abalone was unlawful and should accordingly be set aside. The allegations against the Minister contained in the article were made by Chaile Seretse, the chief operating officer of Willjarro.
Investigations into the employees of the Department who appear to be implicated in the awarding of the unlawful contract are still ongoing.
Statement issued by Bomikazi Molapo, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, 26 March 2018