Just a rubber stamp - actually TWO - stand between a pristine coastal town with five Blue Flag status beaches and a risky R380 million pelagic fish meal and -oil processing plant with the potential to irrevocably turn Mossel Bay into just another polluted harbour town in dismal South Africa where not even the rivers can be maintained or the lights kept on . . .
It's been just under a year since Afro Fishing's unobtrusive and uninformative legal notice regarding a public participation process for a fish meal plant appeared on 22 February 2019 on a back page in the Mossel Bay Advertiser. Very few people saw the notice and/or realised the importance and implications of its content . . . and within the next few months, the final decision will be made by the Department of Environmental Affairs & Development Planning (DEA&DP) under MEC Anton Bredell and the Garden Route District Municipality.
Interested and affected parties who submitted their objections, comments and input during the public participation process that ended on 12 December 2019 were notified by email on Wednesday that the Final Basic Assessment Report (FBAR) for Afro Fishing's proposal was finally completed and submitted to the DEA&DP for decision making. Only once a decision is taken by DEA&DP, will the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) consider an application for an Atmospheric Emissions License (AEL).
Attached to the email from senior consultant Melissa Mackay of Cape Environmental Assessment Practitioners (Cape EAPrac) was a link to the submitted FBAR which will also be available on the Cape EAPrac website (www.capeeaprac.co.za) for information purposes only, as well as a copy of the Comments & Responses Table which includes comments submitted to Cape Eaprac to date, along with the specialist team's responses.http://mosselbayontheline.co.za/images/MOS569_Comments_and_Responses_27Jan20.pdf
It is this Comments & Responses Table with shocking and libellous retorts from Afro Fishing's MD Deon van Zyl and "panel of experts" that caused the latest public outcry over this highly contested fishmeal plant and questions regarding the legality of the entire public participation and basic assessment process.
Melisa Mackay and Deon van Zyl (middle) with some members of Afro Fishing's panel of experts during Afro Fishing's last public information meeting in Mossel Bay's town hall.
The abusive and derogatory nature, personal attacks and flagrant lies in some responses to the public's concerns and valid questions are reminiscent of the bully-tactics Afro Fishing used in December last year in an attempt to gag Mosselbayontheline and to prevent us from reporting on the international #fishrot scandal in African waters that shocked the entire fishing industry. As none of our articles was defamatory or factually untrue, Judge Siraj Desai of the Western Cape High Court dismissed Afro Fishing's urgent high court interdict application with costs.
However, in several of the responses to Interested & Affected Parties' concerns in the official Comments & Responses Table that now forms part of the Final Basic Assessment Report (FBAR), Deon van Zyl tries to discredit this journalist by referring to her as a local activist and falsely accusing her of linking him to gang wars in Manenberg . . . ?
We publicly challenge Van Zyl to reveal any such article?
Van Zyl accuses same journalist of providing "twisted reports that feed the narrative she wants" when most of the articles about the #fishrot scandal, Fishcor and the link with Afro Fishing's one director and alleged shareholder/affiliate/financer were written and published by national and international publications since 2017.
Van Zyl also mentions that he "confirmed" the names of Afro Fishing's directors Shamera Daniels and Johannes Augustinus Breed in an email in July 2019 . . . thereby actually admitting that he refused to give their names in both our oral and written interviews and basically were forced to confirm it after I researched them myself and named them, as well as AJ Louw, in the Q & A emails when he refused to answer the question.
However, Mosselbayontheline is by far not the only Interested & Affected Party whose written submissions in the public participation process were met with such hostile, slanderous and disparaging retorts from both Van Zyl and Afro Fishing's consultant engineer, Chris Albertyn, who is also the founding member of Lethabo Air Quality Specialists (LAQS).
Here are some examples of the public's written comments and the responses by Afro Fishing's specialist team: (In some cases we protect the identity of the commentators due to the libellous and unacceptable nature of the response.) See them all here: http://mosselbayontheline.co.za/images/MOS569_Comments_and_Responses_27Jan20.pdf
1. Interested & Affected Party:
Gekaapte media? Wyl besorgde inwoners nog wag op terugvoering van die openbaredeelnameproses oor die beoogde vismeelfabriek in Mosselbaai se hawe, het Afro Fishing sommer die plaaslike koerantjie se nuusredakteur en die konsultant wat die ONafhanklike omgewingsimpakstudie moet doen, op 'n oorsese reis na Spanje en Portugal geneem om na die jongste EERSTEWêRELDLAND-tegnologie in vismeelaanlegte te gaan kyk. Iets ruik NIE lekker nie . . . Die vismeelspan in Tarifa, Spanje. Deon van Zyl, grootbaas van Afro Fishing, omgewingskonsultant Melissa Mackay van Cape EAPrac, Nicky le Roux, nuusredakteur van die Mossel Bay Advertiser en Chris Albertyn, konsultant-ingenieur.
ONpartydig en Objektief ?
Foto: Mossel Bay Advertiser.
Lees meer hier: http://www.mosselbayontheline.co.za/…/wat-gaan-agter-die-sk…
2. Interested & Affected Party:
Key concerns with any new fishmeal development in Mossel Bay harbour are unpleasant odours and additional heavy traffic to and from the harbour area that will be in the road right next to my unit causing additional disturbances, particularly during the night. Currently, the harbour area has a moderate impact on the vicinity, traffic is manageable and unpleasant odours are limited.
Heritage Mossel Bay is of the opinion that the overall public participation process followed has been inadequate and that the basic assessment as carried out ultimately amounts to no more than minimum compliance with legislative requirements.
- Mossebayontheline takes note of the slanderous and false accusations made by Deon van Zyl and would like to remind him that we have the original emails in which he refused to name any directors and also asked me to remove AJ Louw's name from his reply when I myself researched the directors . . . with quite a few witnesses!
- The fact that Johannes Breed and AJ Louw are mentioned in various international newspapers since 2018 regarding their 60% shares in the Seaflower Pelagic Plant in Walvis Bay while the beleaguered Fishcor in the #fishrot scandal owns the remaining 40% is in public interest - why kill the messenger?
- Van Zyl is misleading the public by stating that the Namibian scandal only refers to government officials and ministers who were bribed by an Islandic fishing company for fishing quotas from 2014 to 2016, while the #fishrot investigation is still ongoing and includes ALL companies involved in fishing deals with Fishcor till 2019.
- Namibian lawyer Marén de Klerk, who represents African Selection Trust with Johannes Breed and AJ Louw on Seaflower Pelagic's Board, is now also being investigated by Namibia's Anti-Corruption Commission regarding payments of N$90 million in dubious transactions from the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor).
- Seaflower Pelagic Processing's directors are the axed Fishcor board chairperson James Hatuikulipi who has since been incarcerated, Fishcor chief executive Mike Nghipunya who has since been suspended, Angolan-based South African accountant Johannes Augustinus Breed, South African economist Adriaan Jacobus (AJ) Louw and lawyer Marén Brynard de Klerk, who has allegedly fled to South Africa.
- This means that three of the five directors of Seaflower Pelagic, with AJ Louw as board chairperson, have already been linked to the #fishrot scandal.
ACC hunts in SA for Fishrot lawyer linked to N$90m
The N$90 million paid by Fishcor appears to have benefited the same clique that included former ministers Bernhard Esau and Sacky Shanghala and former Investec Asset Management Namibia managing director James Hatuikulipi, who allegedly pocketed close to N$103 million from Fishrot bribes. Noa said the latest suspect can run but not hide.
Also, read our response to Mr Deon van Zyl's personal and slanderous attack in a local community paper on 31 January 2020:
NAMIBIAN investigators are looking into N$900 million in fishing quotas allocated to the National Fishing Corporation of Namibia (Fishcor) from 2014 to 2019, of which at least N$100 million was kickbacks for “key people”.
The Namibian understands that the kickbacks – which could rise to N$300 million – do not include bribes of around N$150 million paid through a fishing quota donated by Namibia to Angola, devised to line the pockets of well-placed politicians and businessmen.
The Angolan case is now unfolding in the courts.
The handing of a fishing quota to the benefit of a foreign company contradicts a government commitment to “Namibianise” the fishing industry, critics in Namibia say.
The Final Basic Assessment Report (FBAR) for Afro Fishing's heavily contested proposed R380 fishmeal and fish oil reduction facility in Mossel Bay's harbour has been completed. The estimated 400 people who registered as interested and affected parties (I&A) in the public participation process were yesterday notified by email that the report is ready for submission to the Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP) for decision making. Only once a decision is taken by DEA&DP, will the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) consider an application or an Atmospheric Emissions License (AEL).
Melissa Makay, senior consultant of Cape Environmental Assessment Practitioners (Cape EAPrac) that was appointed by the Applicant, Afro Fishing (Pty) Ltd, to ensure compliance with the regulations contained in the National Environmental Management Act (NEMA, No 107 of 1998 as amended) and the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act (NEMA:AQ, Act 39 of 2004) for a Basic Assessment (BA) Process.
The activity requires an Environmental Authorisation (EA) and Atmospheric Emissions License (AEL) in order to commence. The Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning (DEA&DP) and the Garden Route District Municipality (GRDM) are the respective competent authority to consider this application.
Lethabo Air Quality Specialists (LAQS) with founder member chemical engineer Chris Albertyn has experience in timber industries, clay brick manufacturers, galvanisers, tanneries, abattoirs, asphalt producers, automotive sector, bio-fuels, metallurgical smelters, hazardous waste incineration, petrochemical, to name a few.
LAQS is located in Jeffrey’s Bay in the Eastern Cape and has been in operation since 2005.
Afro Fishing's two directors, Johannes Augustinus Breed (37) and Shamera Daniels. Photos: Internet
Shamera Daniels, co-director of Afro Fishing with Johannes Augustinus Breed, has an impressive history in South Africa's fishing industry. Recently, the South African Pelagic and Fishing Industry and Association (SAPFIA), honoured her as their role model for Woman's Month 2019 - Women in the Pelagic industry:
In addition to running her own business, Shamera finds herself on the Boards of several renowned industrial bodies, including being Vice Chairperson of South African Pelagic and Fishing Industry and Association (“SAPFIA”), a member of SAMSA’s National Fishing Forum, Chairperson of the West Coast Rock Lobster Association, Co-Vice Chairperson of FishSA, and majority stakeholder and Managing Director of Soundprops 1167 Investment (Pty) Ltd and Suidor Fishing (Pty) Ltd. More recently, Shamera’s career has experienced exponential growth when she became the Majority Shareholder in Soundprops 1167 Investment (Pty) Ltd, a company wherein she has been an active director since 2009.
A fishy business . . . who is the international Big Fish behind Afro Fishing's R350 M fish meal plans?
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