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Civics also plan action

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It was “highly irregular” for the chief financial officer at the department to open up a private joint bank account with the service provider

Pictures: Reuters

THE NORTHERN Cape Civics Organisation intends laying criminal charges and reporting the failed Agro-Processing Investment and Trade Fair for investigation by the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture.

The chairperson of the Northern Cape Civics Organisation, Ross Henderson, stated that the active directors of the Nieuwoudtville Rooibos project, which was listed as a private company, was the HOD for the provincial Department of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development and a chief director at the same department.

He questioned whether these directors benefited from the profits of the company and if their business interests/conflict of interests were declared.

“The premises of Nieuwoudtville Rooibos is situated at the department’s offices in Calvinia, although it is registered as a private company on the Companies and Intellectual Property Commission,” said Henderson.

He added that it was “highly irregular” for the chief financial officer at the department to open up a private joint bank account with the service provider.

“It appears as if the books of the project have not been audited by the auditor-general.”

Henderson pointed out that should any of the directors die, the company would become part of the deceased’s estate.

“Similarly if the project was declared insolvent, it carries great risks for the department. The Rooibos project should be run by a board where the MEC for Finance should be the custodian. The project is also not registered as a non-profit organisation.”