The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture is expected to continue with testimony related to the Gupta-linked Estina dairy farm project in Vrede, in the Free State.
(Courtesy of SABC)
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Estina dairy project: State capture inquiry hears how Zwane took church choir to India instead of beneficiaries
The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture has heard how bold promises were made to beneficiaries of the collapsed Gupta-linked Vrede dairy project, but nothing ever materialised.
On Tuesday, Ephraim Dhlamini, one of the project’s beneficiaries, told the Zondo commission farmers were promised trips to India for training and cattle to kickstart the project.
Instead, the former agriculture MEC in the Free State, Mosebenzi Zwane, sent members of his church choir for training, he claimed.
Dhlamini said Zwane’s father was a pastor and in charge of the choir, adding it had to cut its trip short because its members all had diarrhoea while in India.
Estina farm project: State capture inquiry hears how legislature failed the people of the Free State
The judicial commission of inquiry into state capture has heard how the Gupta-linked Vrede dairy farm project was a classic example of how the provincial legislature and its committees failed the people of the Free State.
On Monday, Roy Jankielsohn, a member of the Free State legislature, told Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo when the alleged irregularities in the project took place, the committee chairperson “blocked opposition members’ attempts to probe these issues”.
He said when opposition members in the legislature raised the issue they were “ridiculed and insulted by the governing party” in attempts to deviate from those issues.
“This is a classic example of how the legislature and its committees have failed the people of the Free State by not allowing this issue to be interrogated,” Jankielsohn added.
Free State govt continues to fund collapsed Vrede dairy farm project R20m annually, state capture inquiry hears
The Free State government continues to fund the collapsed Vrede dairy farm project to the tune of R20m a year, the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture heard on Monday.
This after Estina, an IT company, withdrew from the project in August 2014, and the project was taken over by the Free State Development Corporation, said Roy Jankielsohn, a member of the Free State legislature.
Jankielsonhn said the Free State Development Corporation was set up to stimulate economic growth in the province.
It was also set up to support small, medium and micro enterprises with funding and to run various structures such as office building and factories among other things.
Beneficiaries of collapsed Estina dairy farm project still sidelined, state capture inquiry hears
A member of the Free State legislature, Roy Jankielsohn, has detailed how beneficiaries of the collapsed Gupta-linked Estina dairy farm project are still being sidelined.
Jankielsohn was testifying before the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture on Monday.
He told inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo the beneficiaries’ exclusion was “very strange” to him, adding government projects should benefit beneficiaries on the ground.
“Many Vrede residents are poor, there’s huge unemployment and people were hoping that this project would bring some relief to at least 80 people who were identified as beneficiaries, and unfortunately, they are still sidelined.”