DA welcomes Zondo-recommendation that Alexkor be investigated

Issued by Ghaleb Cachalia MP & Veronica van Dyk MP –
03 May 2022 in News

Please find attached English soundbite by Ghaleb Cachalia MP and Afrikaans soundbite by Veronica van Dyk MP.

The DA welcomes the recommendation in the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture’s report that the Alexkor directors and diamond dealers be investigated. Hopefully an investigation will lead to the arrest and prosecution of those who have enriched themselves unlawfully at the cost of the Richtersveld community.

In March 2018, the DA submitted a Promotion of Access to Information Act (PAIA) application to gain insight on Scarlet Sky Investment 60 Pty Ltd, the marketing agent of Alexkor Richtersveld Mining Company Pooling and Sharing Joint Venture (PSJV) that was appointed by the Alexkor Board. Company secretary, Reagan Phillips’ response to the PAIA made it clear that Alexkor was reluctant to share information.

It was, however, revealed that Alexkor received nine expressions of interest in the tender on 7 November 2014, of which Scarlet Sky was one. Although Scarlet Sky was only formalized almost two weeks later on 20 November 2014 by the two directors, Kuben Moodley and Daniel Nathan, the company was shortlisted for the tender despite scoring lower than other companies. SA Diamond Realisations (PTY) LTD t/a Fusion Alternatives, for instance, scored 75 to Scarlet Sky’s 71.5. After presenting to the tender committee on 11 December 2014, Scarlet Sky was awarded the tender despite not having a licence to deal in rough diamonds, as confirmed by the Diamond and Precious Metal Regulator. So, how they landed the contract is indeed questionable.

Both the Gobodo Report and by the Zondo Commission’s work on Alexkor, seem to indicate that the previous and current Alexkor accounting authorities were, and regrettably remain, in breach of several provisions under the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA).

It seems that Alexkor has attempted to circumvent the PFMA, in order to avoid being held accountable for the devastation as a consequence of behaviour that is punishable under section 86 of the Act.

There remain serious concerns at Alexkor regarding transparency on key issues such as the diamond sales process, the security problem within the plant, and the environmental destruction caused by the cofferdam mining operations.

The DA applauds the Zondo Commission for the work done on Alexkor, and will continue in our efforts to hold the mining company to account and get justice and restitution for the Richtersveld community.