/ 17 June 2013

Joemat-Pettersson denies game farm kickback claims

Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.
Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson.

The allegations in the Sunday Times that Joemat-Pettersson benefited from a game-farm sale were "unsubstantiated and regrettable", her spokesperson Palesa Mokomele said in a statement on Monday.

"Those who know Minister Joemat-Pettersson know her to be a people-orientated leader who consistently serves others and strives for the development of rural women and rural communities," Mokomele said.

"The said farm was for the benefit of rural women through skills development and employment creation."

The Sunday Times reported that Joemat-Pettersson was being investigated for allegedly taking a kickback for arranging the purchase of a R18-million game farm for disadvantaged women.

According to the report, she was allegedly paid R100 000 in 2006 for her efforts in closing the purchase of Sunset Game Lodge, outside Douglas, while she was provincial minister in the Northern Cape.

Joemat-Pettersson and the lawyer who facilitated the deal, Monica du Toit, are the focus of an investigation by the Asset Forfeiture Unit and the Special Investigation Unit, the Sunday Times reported.

Mokomele said Joemat-Pettersson would fully co-operate with any investigation into the matter.

"The minister will request that both the Parliamentary Ethics Committee and the ANC's integrity committee investigate all allegations levelled against her and her conduct," said Mokomele. – Sapa