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Vrede dairy corruption case transferred to Bloemfontein high court

06 December 2021 - 14:34
The case relates to alleged procurement fraud involving R24.9m paid by the Free State department of agriculture to Nulane Investments 204. File photo.
The case relates to alleged procurement fraud involving R24.9m paid by the Free State department of agriculture to Nulane Investments 204. File photo.
Image: Alon Skuy

The case of the failed Estina dairy feasibility study at Vrede in the Free State was on Monday transferred to the high court in Bloemfontein.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Investigating Directorate spokesperson Sindisiwe Seboka said the matter was postponed to February 23 to resolve pretrial matters.

A warrant of arrest issued in October for Nulane Investments 204 employee Dinesh Patel had been cancelled.

The accused include Gupta-owned company Islandsite Investments Pty Ltd co-director Ronica Ragavan, former Transnet board member Iqbal Sharma, Patel, former provincial head of department for rural development Peter Thabethe, former provincial agriculture head of department Limakatso Moorosi and former department CFO Seipati Dhlamini. 

They face charges of fraud and money-laundering.

The former government officials are also charged with contravention of the Public Finance Management Act.

The case relates to alleged procurement fraud involving R24.9m paid by the Free State department of agriculture to Nulane Investments.

A feasibility study on the Mohoma Mobung agriculture project was contracted to Nulane Investments by the provincial government. However, Nulane Investments had no employees on its books and subcontracted to Deloitte to produce the report.

Deloitte was paid R1.5m for the work.

The state alleges the only change made to the Deloitte report was to identify Paras dairy as a suitable implementing partner for development of a milk processing plant in Vrede.

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