CapeNature spat to be reported on

10 May 2007
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Cape Town
Theres a story doing the rounds in the trade about irregular permits being issued as well....

CapeNature spat to be reported on
John Yeld
August 06 2008 at 02:21PM

A potentially explosive forensic audit report of the alleged alteration and destruction of CapeNature board minutes, and the leaking of a confidential management report, has been completed and will be presented soon.
A second, possibly even more damning forensic audit report involving the alleged coercion of a CapeNature staffer to commit perjury, has not yet been completed.
Both audits were commissioned by former provincial environment and planning MEC Tasneem Essop, who resigned just days after Ebrahim Rasool was forced from the premier's office by the ANC's national leadership a fortnight ago.
The first audit was commissioned following the alleged leaking of the so-called Brian Williams report into alleged mismanagement by senior CapeNature staff, including the use of credit cards.
Although three senior officials were suspended and disciplinary action instituted against them and another dozen middle-ranking managers as a result of the findings of the Williams report, all were subsequently either acquitted or had the disciplinary action against them dropped. They were exonerated of any wrong-doing.
While the conservation authority was trying to deal with the fall-out from this issue during the latter half of last year, it was further rocked by allegations that board minutes had been deliberately altered and tape recordings of some board meetings destroyed.
Details of these allegations and purported copies of the changed minutes were contained in a six-page letter with several annexures sent to Zodwa Magwaza, chairperson of the province's standing committee on community development.
Essop commissioned a forensic audit report to investigate all these issues, and later expanded its terms of reference to include an investigation of information contained in an affidavit that emerged during the disciplinary process of the three senior managers.
In an interview yesterday, she said the first round of the report had been completed and was in safe-keeping.
Her successor, Pierre Uys, was currently in China, and it was her intention to hand it to him as soon as he returned.
It would be handed simultaneously to the new premier, Lynne Brown, and to the chief executive officer of CapeNature, Lucille Meyer.

This article was originally published on page 6 of Cape Argus on August 06, 2008
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