From today, the Rhino Horn Trade Committee set up by Minister of Environmental Affairs, Edna Molewa will hear submissions from the public on whether or not South Africa should trade in rhino horn.
Still at the helm of the committee is Nana Mangomola who resigned from the National Gambling Board in November 2014 after Minister Rob Davies suspended her based on irregular findings by the Auditor General. Also still a member is Lourence Mogakane who was fired from the Bohlabela District Municipality for gross misconduct and financial mismanagement in 2005.
I will again write to the Minister requesting that she immediately remove both Ms Mangomola and Mr Mogakane from the Rhino Horn Trade Committee.
If Minister Molewa refuses to act on this matter, the entire Committee and its findings will be tainted and called into question.
In a reply to my parliamentary question about the vetting process of the State Security Agency (SSA) the Minister states that they had only completed a pre-screening process – involving checking that members were in fact South African citizens – and that the vetting process was not yet complete.
Minister Molewa further claims in her reply that the names were only submitted for vetting on 22 January 2015 and that she believes the allegations against them have nothing to do with rhino poaching.
Minister Molewa has misled South Africans and is for some reason protecting these panel members. This is yet another example of ANC cadre deployment trumping transparency and accountability.
The Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species requires any proposal to lift the ban on trade in rhino horn to be based on “scientific process” and submitted by September this year ahead of the March 2016 conference.
The Minister has botched the process from the start by first appointing a secret panel of experts and then failing to vet all members of the committee before they were appointed.
In discussions with Rhino committee members it was expressed that they are uncomfortable that this matter has not been dealt with as they feel their hard work and any report emanating from the process will be discredited.
To rescue the process and give the Committee of Inquiry any credibility, Minister Molewa’s only salvation is to act without delay and remove Ms Mangomola and Mr Mogakane.
Shadow Deputy Minister of Environmental Affairs
Source : Democratic Alliance