EDITORIAL: Vrede report is a disgrace
The public protector’s report on grand fraud at the Vrede dairy project sidesteps crucial evidence and targets underlings
The public protector’s report on the Vrede Integrated Dairy Project is a disgrace. The report starts with a long list of things Busisiwe Mkhwebane claims she could not investigate due to the "capacity and financial constraints". This is an organisation with a budget of R626m a year and a staff of 300. After investigating the issue for five years, the public protector’s office concludes that the Free State agriculture department did not follow proper procedure in establishing the project, and once it was established the department did not monitor it properly. The remedy proposed is that the department should take disciplinary action against officials involved in the project and they should follow proper procedure. Great. If ever there was a report that stated the obvious, this is it. It’s almost as though someone decided to just dump the thing with a set of pro-forma recommendations in a deliberate attempt to make sure only underlings would be criticised. To achieve this end, the inv...
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