'We will only release audit when Scopa gives OK'

KWAZULU-NATAL MEC for Finance Ina Cronje has rejected claims by the DA that she has indicated in the legislature that a "decision will be made next week around the release of the province's long outstanding agriculture forensic audit".

Responding to DA claims, Cronje said: "We are awaiting confirmation from the law enforcement agencies that the release of the report will not jeopardise their investigation.

"Once we receive such confirmation, we can let Scopa have a progress report."

The report, which is yet to be released after five years, is expected to give details of the R80million which went missing from the department coffers, along with information relating to alleged financial misconduct involving axed head of department Jabulani Mjwara and the department's former chief financial Officer Petrus Mahlangu.

DA finance spokesperson Johann Krog has called on the finance MEC to reveal the contents of the audit's findings.

"It is in the interest of KwaZulu-Natal's citizens that the audit results are released."

Krog expressed his concern at what he termed "a worrying trend' towards keeping forensic audits under wraps.

"The DA calls on all MECs to commit to releasing the findings of audits within their departments to the parliamentary oversight committee, Scopa.

"If the provincial government is genuinely committed to exposing fraud and corruption, then transparency is the only way forward.

"The cover-ups must stop."