On 20 March 2013, the then DDG of Fisheries, Greta Apelgren-Narkadien, stated unequivocally that the Africana and the four patrol vessels (Ruth First, Sarah Baartman, Victoria Mxenge & Lilian Ngoyi) would certainly be ready to go sea by the end of April. She confirmed that the vessels are all "80%" ready.
On 11 June (ie more than a month after the absolute certain deadline set by DAFF in March for the vessels to be at sea), the department sat straight faced and spun more incredible deceit stating to the fisheries portfolio committee in Parliament that the vessels were ... you guessed it ... still not ready to sail ready! In fact it would appear that almost nothing had been done to these vessels between March and June 2013.
They stated on 11 June that -
- The Sarah Baartman was now only "50% ready for sea voyages and was expected to be finalised by end of June." What happened to it being 80% ready and confirmed to be ready to sail by the end of April. If she was 80% ready in March, this means that during the intervening past 3 months, the vessel had been further damaged. And of course, the vessel was not ready to sail at the end of June and it still is not ready to sail.
- The Ruth First was 95% ready for sea and the outstanding requirements were expected to be completed "in the following two weeks" (ie be end of June). Again, another lie. The Ruth First remains harbour bound and unable to sail.
- The Victoria Mxenge was 95% ready for sea. Again, she is still also harbour-bound. Clearly a lie, again.
- The Ellen Khuzwayo was 80% sea-ready and expected to be fully ready at the end of June 2013. Was she not 80% ready in the middle of March as well?
- The FRS Africana was amazingly also 80% ready for sea and was also expected to be ready by the end of June. She too was 80% ready in March 2013! And she too remains harbour-bound at the end of JULY.
And the department wants to know why we dont believe a word they say. They may fool the parliamentarians some of the time ... ah well, no ... they will fool that lot all of the time (because they are not keen at all on reading and holding the comrades accountable).