The Commissioner of Companies and Intellectual Property Commission (CIPC), Ms. Astrid Ludin, is the latest victim of the ANC’s process to purge competent and honest leaders if public institutions and to replace them with cadres subservient to the ANC, Adv. Anton Alberts, the FF Plus’ spokesperson on trade and industry says.
Ms. Ludin, the first commissioner of the CIPC, which was established exactly four years ago in April 2011, said in an internal communiqué to personnel that the pressure of unlawful industrial action, amongst others, had created an untenable climate of intimidation.
According to media reports in Business Day Live, there were also unsubstantiated allegations of fraud and corruption directed at her and her management team and in this regard she did not receive any support from the minister, Dr. Rob Davies.
The opposite happened and even after a forensic audit had found no proof of irregularities, the minister indicated in a letter that he was going to suspend her, pending an investigation. According to Ludin it points to a politically motivated attempt to get rid of her, the report states.
Adv. Alberts says Ludin took on a huge responsibility four years ago when she accepted the position. At the time she had already stated that it would take more than two years just to sort out the ‘chaos’ and backlog of work with companies and closed corporations.
The problems arose because the CIPC’s predecessor, CIPRO, could not process the mass applications of between 2 500 and 3 000 a day due to, amongst others, an outdated technology system.
According to Adv. Alberts, problems pertaining to the deregistration of companies, due to amongst others, the fact that annual returns were not being submitted, were as huge. In just ten months prior to the establishment of CIPC, 900 000 companies and closed corporations were de-registered.
“It is understandable that in the midst of this chaos there was great potential for fraud and corruption which would not have been able to take place in an ordered proses and administration. Ludin brought order to the confusion. Now she has to go because she did her job too well. The political purging of competent management personnel of public entities is now the order of the day.
“The FF Plus will be asking the minister of trade and industry to give reasons and explain the circumstances to the parliamentary portfolio committee on trade and industry,” Adv. Alberts says.
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