The removal on Friday 28 February 2014 of Desmond Stevens as the acting DDG of Fisheries could not have been more welcomed by the SA fishing industry. His reign as acting DDG of Fisheries has without doubt been one of the most controversial and catastrophic with lingering rumours of corruption having plagued a number of his decisions which are also the subject of investigations by the public protector.
His removal does perhaps confirm that the initial legal advice given to the Fisheries Minister to date is that the 2013 FRAP process is as illegal as any process could conceivably be. His removal will certainly aid the judicial review process by the commercial line fish industry currently before the Western Cape High Court.
We understand that Stevens' replacement will again be another Acting DDG deployed from Pretoria. By our count, this will be the 14th acting DDG of Fisheries since January 2011. Since Tina Joemat-Pettersson's ruinous reign as minister of fisheries began in 2010, she has never had a permanent DDG of Fisheries, let alone a DDG who was remotely qualified or experienced in fisheries management.