Tina’s Court Bid – DA Will Seek to Intervene [press release]

The DA will seek the court’s permission to be joined in legal proceedings, as an intervening party, should Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, Tina Joemat-Pettersson insists on a review of the Public Protector’s “Docked Vessels” report.

The frivolous action proposed by the Minister is another example of Zuma’s ANC’s contempt for anti-corruption bodies like the Public Protector – especially ahead of the release of the Nkandla report on Wednesday.

The attempt to have the report reviewed by the court is premature and will result in unnecessary costs to the public.

Indeed, the report can only be the subject of review once it is tabled and debated in Parliament.

The damning document follows an investigation into the awarding of a R800 million contract to Sekunjalo Consortium to manage the department’s fleet of research and patrol ships.

The contract was later withdrawn and the management of the vessels temporarily handed to the navy.

The Public Protector found that over a period of about 20 months, no patrols and research was done on South Africa’s coastline. This resulted in large scale poaching, loss of research data and the deterioration of the fleet.

Further, according to the report, the Minister attempted to interfere with both the Public Protector and the National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) investigations into her office.

The Minister is yet to be brought to book for her misconduct.

In Parliament, the DA has already taken a number of steps to hold Minister Joemat-Petterrsson accountable by:

a) condemning the actions of the Minister through a motion of censure and

b) laying criminal charges.

The latest theatrics from the Minister are an attempt to prevent parliamentary debate on A Madonsela’s findings, avoid further embarrassment and escape liability for her and the Department’s actions – all using the public purse.

It is no doubt also part of the multi-pronged effort by Zuma’s ANC to undermine her office before the release of the Nkandla report.

This petty politics, of the worst kind, cannot be allowed.

Pieter van Dalen, Shadow Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Source : Democratic Alliance