On 4 December MCM issued a statement denying the veracity of a story published in the Cape Times earlier that day (see article below dated 5 December, “MCM Issues Statement on Abalone Divers’ Funds”). Documents in the possession of Feike in fact show that the statement by MCM is false.

The document confirms that MCM’s statement is false and deceptive in three respects. Firstly, abalone divers were to have received R54 000 (not R52 000 as we initially reported) or R90/kg. There were never discussions about a once-off R20 000 payment.
Secondly, there was no signed agreement between MCM and a trust representing the abalone divers in June 2009. The documents in our possession show that a draft trust deed existed in October only with the intention of getting the divers to sign the trust deed on 6 October. MCM is encouraged to make the June 2009 signed agreement available to the public. Indeed, our discussions with divers and TURF representatives confirmed that limited consultations between MCM and the industry only started in late September and early October – weeks before Jacob Zuma’s address to the divers in Hawston on 17 October.
Thirdly, R82 million was made available to MCM for the purposes of “social relief” payments to divers (R15 million) and for developmental abalone projects, such as the establishment of an abalone hatchery in the Overberg.
The fact that MCM has actively sought to provide false information regarding public funds raises further concerns about possible maladministration and the diversion of public funds to unlawfully appointed consultants.

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