Suspended Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries deputy director general Siphokazi Ndudane.
Cape Town - The Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has slammed the DA, saying a document the party claimed was a charge sheet against suspended deputy director-general (DDG) Siphokazi Ndudane was a hoax.

DA Western Cape spokesperson on economic opportunities, tourism and agriculture Beverley Schäfer released the document during a press conference, saying it was a damning report against the department.

She said the document implicated Ndudane and senior officials within the department in blatant corruption and theft in the abalone fishing sector, along with the falsification of legislation regulating fish stocks in South Africa’s oceans.

“The DA is in possession of a charge sheet which details the crimes committed in the fisheries sector by the department’s DDG, Siphokazi Ndudane, as outlined in a disciplinary hearing held on September 3, 2018 at the department’s offices in Pretoria.

“Of the 39 charges brought against Ms Ndudane, she has been found guilty of, among others, 155 counts of fraud, 37 counts of theft, extortion, forgery, defeating the ends of justice, insubordination and the contravention of section 217 (1) of the Constitution of the Republic 108 of 1996.”

The document detailed Ndudane’s alleged involvement in incidents of abalone theft of an estimated value of R20 million, which it said took place on September 25, 2017, January 8, 2018 and May 15, 2018.

It said Ndudane had facilitated a deal under the auspices of a “donation” of fishing equipment and gear on behalf of the department between private individuals and/or entities.

Schäfer said the department had yet to take any decisive action against Ndudane and officials dodging accountability at every turn to appear before her standing committee to explain these allegations, which she said had now been revealed to be truths.

Approached for comment on the DA’s statement, Ndudane, through her attorneys, said she would be available to comment tomorrow.

Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Senzeni Zokwana’s spokesperson, Khaye Nkwanyana, said: “The department is astounded by this outcome and it must be a hoax because the case has not yet sat; it was postponed by the department after Ndudane was suspended for 60 days.

“It was decided that her suspension be renewed until the department is ready to begin the process.

“She has not even pleaded through normal hearing process. There must be a big confusion in a report with the DDG’s signature for which we must investigate if it’s fraud.”