Weekly Press Review – 17 August 2012

The ever controversial tender for the operation of patrol boats to protect South Africa’s marine resources is back in the press this week. With only a week to go before the release of the Public Protector’s report into alleged corruption relating to the tender, there is more mud being slung around in the public domain.

Secretary-General of the WCBBC, Mntuwekhaya Cishe, stated that the chamber had asked that the irregular tender originally awarded to Smit Amandla Marine, dating back to 2005, be included in the investigation.

To add to the controversy, according to Tina Joemat-Petersson’s spokeswoman, Palesa Mokomele, the Hawks and the Asset Forfeiture Unit are also conducting an investigation into corruption in the Fisheries branch.

Surely, as a group, all these players need to work together to weed out those who clearly do not have our country’s oceans interests at heart as quickly (and quietly) as possible?

Our navy is in trouble again facing an inquiry into the incident which caused the SAS Queen Modjadji to ‘nosedive’ onto the sea bed during a training exercise off the coast between Port Elizabeth and Durban – and may have to explain itself to Parliament.

Reports seem to suggest that Parliament is beginning to question whether the large amounts of funding that the navy receives are being spent wisely.

In other news – Greenpeace activist, Peter Wilcox, captains the new Rainbow Warrior III which is on a six-day stay in the Table Bay Harbour. The yacht, which is in the harbour for routine maintenance is being billed as the most environmentally friendly vessel ever built.

She is heading for the Indian Ocean where she will kick off a campaign against illegal fishing by means of research and documentation of illegal fishing activities in the area.

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