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DA: Statement by Jacques Smalle, Democratic Alliance shadow minister of trade and industry, on Cipro arrests (22/10/2010)

22nd October 2010

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/ MEDIA STATEMENT / The content on this page is not written by Polity.org.za, but is supplied by third parties. This content does not constitute news reporting by Polity.org.za.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) is pleased to see that those responsible for company fraud at the Companies and Intellectual Property Office (Cipro) are being brought to book, especially after the DA laid criminal charges against the individuals concerned. Most particularly, Mr Sandi Majali, who has avoided being properly held to account on a range of issues from Oilgate through to the Oil-for-Food scandal. The long arm of the law now has Mr Majali firmly in its grip.

Reports in today's Business Report indicate that Mr. Majali, the latest accused in company fraud, has been arrested in connection with the scandal involving private company Kalahari.

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On the 21st of September of this year, I laid charges against the 8 individuals involved in this latest incident of company fraud at the Tzaneen Police Station, Case number 312/9/2010. The charges were transferred to the Sandton police station the same day.

8 individuals were accused of compromising Cipro and defrauding private individuals in September of this year when the directors of Kalahari were illegally removed from the company's registration details without the directors' consent or knowledge.

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Since the time of those charges, in addition to the arrest of Mr. Majali, the Commercial Crimes Unit has also arrested Stevens Khoza, Elvis Ndala and Haralambos Sferopoulos, a Cipro official.

In the past year, the DA has been especially concerned by the instances of fraud and irregular practices at Cipro and has acted to compel the Minister of Trade and Industry, Rob Davies to overhaul the database. While such reforms are finally being implemented, there have still been cases where the lax security of the database has been abused for self-gain.

Cipro is a much beleaguered system which has been plagued with numerous instances of fraud and compromised security. The integrity and security of the entire database has been called into question on numerous occasions and its IT services have been the subject of a controversial contract with a company that did not have the capacity to deal with the services required.

The DA has been vigilant in bringing both the problems at Cipro, and the individuals involved in abusing its lax controls, to light. Earlier this year, after a barrage of DA questions and enquiries, the Department of Trade and Industry was forced to cancel the irregularly awarded contract with ValorIT.

These arrests in the latest incident of fraud at Cipro are most welcome. We cannot allow the integrity of the system that manages the details of our companies to be compromised. Such compromises are threats to both trade in our country and, as in the case of Kalahari, the interests of private individuals. The DA shall maintain its vigilance over Cipro.

 

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