Finance minister Tito Mboweni. Picture: GCIS
Finance minister Tito Mboweni. Picture: GCIS

I was disheartened to read that the Land Bank reported a loss of more than R2.8bn for the year ended 2020 (“Treasury to back up depleted Land Bank”, January 11). The bank’s task is to help farmers. Its auditors’ report cited a lack of complete and proper records, including a paucity of internal controls.

In accounting language a “disclaimed opinion” is invariably interpreted to mean corruption and criminality took place. The Treasury is purportedly still backing the bank and its new management team, and another “bailout” is imminent.

Agri SA executive director Christo van der Rheede has suggested that “heads must roll”. Undoubtedly, the responsibility is with the finance minister, who is responsible for appointing the Land Bank’s board. He also appoints the CEO and CFO in consultation with the board.

Yet inasmuch as the government dictates fiscal policy, Tito Mboweni’s hands are tied. Moreover, given that in the land of the blind the man with one eye is king, it can be said that Mboweni is not up to the task.

Nathan Cheiman, Northcliff

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