WC govt questions independence of Samsa probe into Robben Island ferry sinking

The Western Cape government's standing committee on economic opportunities, transport and agriculture wants an independent investigation into the sinking of the Robben Island ferry.

This comes after the committee met with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (Samsa) and Robben Island Museum management on Wednesday.

68 people were rescued from a vessel when it started taking on water while returning from a trip to Robben Island last month.

Committee chairperson Beverley Schäfer has expressed concerns that Samsa officials will not publicise the findings of their internal investigation.

She has also question Samsa's objectivity when investigating their own maintenance operations.

Read: NSRI: Maritime Safety Authority to probe cause of sinking Robben Island ferry

Samsa said blatantly that the report would not be made public.

Beverley Schäfer, WC Standing Committee Chairperson on Economic Development, Tourism & Agriculture

Samsa admitted that they should not be doing this investigation because they are the organisation that gives the certifications to boats themselves.

Beverley Schäfer, WC Standing Committee Chairperson on Economic Development, Tourism & Agriculture

In a way they are investigating themselves and whether they are compliant or not.

Beverley Schäfer, WC Standing Committee Chairperson on Economic Development, Tourism & Agriculture

Also read: "Robben Island has struggled to manage its ferries properly"

Schäfer says it is in the best interest of provincial government to maintain confidence in the local tourism industry.

Samsa, which claims it serviced the vessel a week before the incident, has maintained the boat was seaworthy.

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