You got it wrong, M&G
In “Dumping upsets pecking order” (Business, July 13), you misquoted me by omission. I was asked about illegal imports of chicken to South Africa and responded that I was “not aware of any, but there are undoubtedly rogue importers, as there are rogue local traders”. I also said we would work with officials to stamp out any illegal imports brought to our attention. I elaborated on some offences being committed in the local chicken industry.
Yet your report infers that offences are being committed by importers only – not a word about local breaches of poultry regulations. I would appreciate it if you correct the misleading inferences.
On the allegation that “Brazilian poultry is being exported to the Netherlands, where it is repackaged and exported to South Africa”, it is hard to believe such a preposterous claim. Such practices would cost a fortune and result in heavy losses to the exporter. Consult a world atlas and note the huge distances involved: the freight charges would be way in excess of the cost of the products. Then add clearing charges, wharfage, handling fees, insurances, commissions, packaging and transport costs – all duplicated!
As for the jobs allegedly lost because of chicken imports, if protectionism becomes official policy, these would likely be offset by jobs lost in the import sector and the increased cost of chicken to consumers would cause job losses throughout the economy. Protectionism costs more jobs than it creates: that is a well-researched economic fact. – <em>David Wolpert, chief executive, Association of Meat Importers and Exporters of South Africa</em>
We are concerned about leaks of confidential documents to the <em>Mail & Guardian</em> (“Clash as fired official gets job back”, July 13 to 19). It appears to be a sustained campaign by unknown persons to destabilise our operations and internal workings at the Special Investigating Unit. The <em>M&G</em> should be careful not to be used by people who are either unhappy with certain decisions taken in the unit or want to jeopardise ongoing investigations.
Because of the sensitivity of matters the unit deals with, it cannot comment in detail on articles using leaked information. It is regrettable that confidential documents on this issue are now with the <em>M&G</em>.
The leak is aimed at harming the reputation of the unit and its acting head, advocate Nomvula Mokhatla, who is committed to transforming and stabilising the unit and is improving its working conditions.
The unit has said it is open to scrutiny by the auditor general on the decision to reinstate Miseria Nyathi. The decision was taken only after the facts had been considered. Allegations of fraud against her have never been proven. She has not been charged or found guilty of any wrong-doing. To keep reporting on these allegations appears to be a campaign to vilify her. – <em>Boy Ndala, SIU spokesperson</em>