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A black industrialist is taking the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Public Protector (PP) to the High Court. Angus Norkie of Nocks Oil charges that there was “something seriously sinister” in how the goal posts kept being shifted by the IDC when he tried to secure funding. He says “more surprisingly”, when the “maladministration” within the IDC was reported to the PP, he was met with “more lawlessness”. Speaking to BizNews, Norkie gives a blow-by-blow account of his dealings with the IDC since 2018, as well as his subsequent dealings with the PP’s office. “Politicians are fond of saying that we live in a democracy, but that democracy means absolutely nothing without effective public protection…This is autocracy with a lack of accountability,” he says. – Chris Steyn
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Highlights from the interview
A black industrialist is taking the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) and the Public Protector (PP) to the High Court.
Angus Norkie, the CEO of Nocks Oil, charges that there was “something seriously sinister” in how the goal posts kept being shifted by the IDC when he tried to secure funding.
And, “more surprisingly”, when the “maladministration” within the IDC was reported to the PP, he was met with “more lawlessness”.
Speaking to BizNews, Norkie gives a blow-by-blow account of his dealings with the IDC since 2018, as well as his subsequent dealings with the PP’s office.
Over the past four years, Norkie even turned to government ministers and the Presidency for help. “I actually spoke to, I counted earlier, it was five different ministers that I spoke to about this. I spoke to various officials.
“The Presidency said to me go back to the IDC, and I said but I’m complaining about the IDC. You can’t send a person that was raped back to the rapist because that is what you in essence are doing now. You need to solve what was in my experience. You need to do something about it; you can’t just sent me back. But I but I went back…”
However, eventually, Norkie felt that he was just “beating a drum and nobody seems to want to listen”.
In desperation, he turned to the PP in 2020, but was not allowed to take its unfavourable findings on review. Instead he was told that he would need to go to court.
“Now that to me is the crux of everything. And that is what basically said to me, no, I’m not gonna give up. Because the Public Protector, the one that’s gonna be impeached…and the new one, they’re fond of bragging about the fact that only a certain amount of the reports were taken on review. But they make it impossible for us to take this thing on review. But the law in itself makes it impossible for us to take it under review because you can only take it under review to the High Court. And the type of people that go to the Public Protector, is people that don’t have money to go to the court.
“So, the entire system in itself is set against anybody that hasn’t got money to take a report on review in itself.
“And I’m asking myself to both public protectors and all the politicians out there, guys, what are you doing to change this? Because the only mechanism to keep the Public Protector accountable is to take their reports under review. Now, if that system in itself is flawed, we’re never really going to know whether or not the Public Protector is effective.
“I shudder to think of how many people went to the Public Protector…because they reported an official, or they reported something that went wrong in the municipality or wherever…wasn’t given the proper time of day.
“The politicians are fond to say that we live in a democracy, but that democracy means absolutely nothing without an effective public protection. It’s as simple as that.”
Asked why he hasn’t given up, Norkie says: “I guess it’s my mother. My mother used to tell me…they can’t keep a good man down. Don’t give up, my son..she passed on two years ago. And sorry, I’m just a bit sad because she couldn’t see the fruits of my labours. And that makes me sad about all this. You know, I even told them guys, I don’t care about myself, but what about the 50 jobs that I would have created? I would have made an impact on 50 families. You’re totally disregarding this.
“…this is not a democracy that we’re staying in. This is autocracy with a lack of accountability in South Africa. This is autocracy. It is nothing else. And we need to change that…it’s not just about the 50 families. To me is also about just leaving something behind for my two kids…and trying to create something for them.
“And I just want, my grandmother used to say, what is right is right and what is wrong is by no means right. You know, and I just want what is right.”
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