Agri big shot not off the hook

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

Despite his resignation as head of the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Agriculture, Jabulani Mjwara will face criminal charges if a forensic audit of his former department's accounts reveals that he was guilty of misconduct.

Mjwara and the department's former chief financial officer, Petrus Mahlangu, were both named in an internal audit that investigated overspending of more than R100 million.

Mjwara's resignation was announced on Monday. He resigned last Thursday. He was due to appear at an internal disciplinary hearing next Thursday.

Yesterday, the department's MEC, Mtholephi Mthimkhulu, said Mjwara's resignation made it necessary for the department to take legal advice about the internal disciplinary hearing, but nothing would stop the department from pursuing criminal charges if the forensic audit suggested that course was warranted.

"I am waiting for a report from our legal team but I want to make it clear to the people of this province that the forensic investigation is under way. Nobody is off the hook yet.

A forensic investigation does not mean criminal charges have been ruled out. The departure of both men does not mean that they cannot be called on if they are needed," he said.

Mjwara was not available for comment.