A government official responsible for managing fishing allocation rights has been implicated in alleged corruption, the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has said.
The department said it received information about the allegations involving one of the members of the allocation team.
Members of the Hawks executed a search and seizure warrant at the department’s offices on Wednesday, seizing a laptop and cellphone.
“The department… views the matter in a very serious light, thus we have taken a precautionary approach to all activities related to allocations and his relationship with the department,” spokesperson Thembalethu Vico said.
The department will work with the Hawks to ensure that there is proper investigation on the matter.
An independent forensic company will be appointed to investigate the accuracy of information submitted by applicants for fishing rights.
“The department is committed in ensuring that the undergoing Fishing Rights Allocation Processes (FRAP) are not compromised or at least are not seen to be compromised thus we have taken a decision to suspend the member from the Allocations pending the investigations.”
The member was presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi was looking into the matter on Friday.