Wednesday, July 6, 2022

‘Supporting feedlots was not for my own benefit’ ÔÇô Former board

A local cattle baron, Koos Van Vuuren, who supported the introduction of feedlots at Botswana Meat Commission when he was still a board member in 2007, has refuted claims that he was supporting the introduction of feedlots for his own benefit.

A Committee probing BMC maladministration has evidence to the effect that Van Vuuren was one of the farmers who won BMC first feedlots tender after living the BMC board in 2009, fuelling perceptions that he could have supported the idea of feedlots since he knew that he was going to benefit before he left in 2007.

The committee also stated that Van Vuuren in person approached the then Vice President, Ian Khama in 2006 seeking a bail out of P240 million towards the introduction of the feedlots and injection of money in the embattled BMC.

Van Vuuren stated that the introduction of the feedlots by BMC while he was still a board member was meant to increase thoroughput at BMC.

He said that he won a first tender as feedlotter from BMC because he was a hard worker.

He refuted claims that he supported the idea of the feedlots with a full knowledge that he would benefit from BMC tenders while he was still on the board.

Quizzed on why he was the first feedlotter to benefit, he indicated that he applied for a tender after he saw a tender being flighted in local newspapers.

He stated that he never made calculations on whether the feedlots were economical, which resulted in him asking for bail out for the introduction of feedlots, which later became a burden to BMC .

Van Vuuren indicated that he thought that increasing the thoroughput would bring profits to BMC only to find that some animals that were put in feedlots had no bolus used for tracing their origin.
Van Vuuren also further disputed that he got himself prepared to benefit from feedlots after supporting and introducing the feedlot programme at BMC.

He pointed out that the Parliamentary Select Committee probing Botswana Meat Commission and the media condone racism against white farmers.

Van Vuuren indicated that the media had also gone to the extent of naming them “White Boys Club”.

However, the Committee Chairman, Mephato Reatile, assured Van Vuuren that the parliamentary committee was not discriminatory to any person, saying the Committee would be fair to anyone who came before the committee without looking at colour .

Van Vuuren stated that in his opinion there is no Motswana who can head the BMC.

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