Zokwana’s empty promises on abalone poaching cost lives
28 September 2018
I have confirmation that early this morning, at approximately 2:50am, a security guard was killed in a shooting outside a Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) storage facility for confiscated abalone in Paarden Eiland.
This is gravely concerning considering that on Wednesday, 16 May 2018, DAFF Minister Senzeni Zokwana made the following commitment in a published version of his budget vote speech in Parliament: “I have taken the decision that never again will the department stores be used to store any confiscated form of fish”.
It is clear that Minister Zokwana has made an empty promise to the Western Cape if DAFF storage rooms continue to harbour confiscated abalone to this day. Why has the Minister not followed through with this commitment made to the Western Cape to tackle crime related to abalone poaching?
This raises further suspicion surrounding the Department’s alleged involvement in abalone theft as in March this year, nine DAFF officials were already arrested in an undercover operation in Gansbaai. Does the Minister have personal interests in the illegal abalone trade which affect his willingness to address it?
As the DA in the Western Cape, we remain committed to protecting and preserving the vitality of our oceans, along with the important economy and jobs they sustain for our people. This includes rooting out the corruption which festers at the heart of the DAFF and threatens to collapse the Western Cape’s fisheries. We will not rest until this Department is cleaned out and functioning to best serve the people who depend on it.
Statement issued by Beverley Schäfer, MPP, DA Western Cape Spokesperson on Economic Opportunities, Tourism, and Agriculture, 28 September 2018