Thursday, June 30, 2011

Branch Fisheries: The Extortionist

Is the Fisheries Branch of DAFF acting as an extortioner? Dozens of small-scale artisinal right holders have complained to Feike that they are being illegally threatened by DAFF with the non-issue of their fishing permits until they pay their levies.

An extortionist is commonly defined as a person (or organisation) who illegally uses their position of power to obtain property, funds or other assets from another. Which is exactly what DAFF is doing and they target small-scale fishers who they know they can terrify and who will run off to the ABSA around the corner and withdraw money and pay the extortioner, DAFF.

The law is clear. Payment of levies is only due to DAFF once they have issued an invoice that complies fully with the VAT Act. If they have not issued an invoice, the levy is not due and DAFF does not have the authority in law to withhold any permit or licence.

What makes DAFF's extortion even more problematic is that its non-existent Minister confirmed in Parliament that her department does not collect any levy without first issuing an invoice (which Feike showed to be a lie and her department continues to prove their own minister as a deceiver) and Minister Joemat-Pettersson acknowledged that to collect a levy without having first issued an invoice is unlawful.

Having regard to the Minister's statement to Parliament and her department's ongoing unlawful and extortionist conduct, Feike is of the view that criminal charges must be laid against the Minister and her Deputy Director-General under the VAT Act. (We do quietly acknowledge that we simply cannot keep up with who is the current ACTING Deputy Director-General as we understand the last stand-in has already given up and returned to the cushy surroundings of Pretoria from where he hailed.)

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