Eveline de Klerk
Swakopmund-Fisheries and Marine Resources Minister Bernard Esau says he detests corruption and officials within the Fisheries Ministry should not be deterred by wrongful perceptions that it is a corrupt ministry.
Esau said despite public perceptions, his ministry has been vindicated as it has been found to be operating entirely within the ambit of the law.
“I detest corruption. The sector should not be labeled, even if they say I am corrupt.
“I am happy to note that the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources has been investigated, tried and tested in the past and found to be operating within the confines of the law. Even if they say I am corrupt, the sector must not be labeled and that is what we must all strive for,” he said.
Esau was speaking at a two-day joint workshop of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Corruption for the Ministry for Fisheries and Marine Resources and the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) to foster closer collaboration between the two entities in terms of identifying and addressing corruption vulnerabilities within the fishing industry.
“I am urging my officials to continue carrying out their duties, despite the perception of corruption within the sector and to ensure that all our natural resources are a benefit to all,” Esau said.
He added that corruption was totally unacceptable and an enemy of progress and development.
Esau went on to say the Fisheries Ministry was determined to eradicating corruption and would work with the ACC to eliminate corruption in the sector.
“I urge the ACC to assist us in this regard and that we look at the causes of corrupt practices. We should, however, also take in consideration that corruption does not only occur in the public sector, but in the private sector as well,” he noted.
Also speaking at the same event, ACC deputy director Advocate Erna van der Merwe said the workshop aimed to look at preventative measures, such as the implementation of risk-assessment, as well as explore multi-stakeholder structures to implement corruption risk mitigation strategies.