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WATCH LIVE | State capture: Peter Thabethe continues his testimony

Editor's note: Fedd starts at 10am

16 August 2019 - 09:52 By TimesLIVE

The state capture inquiry will continue to hear Estina farm-related testimony from former Free State agriculture head Peter Thabethe on Friday.

According to his testimony, Paras was the only company that suited the department's agenda of developing small-scale dairy farmers.

Paras eventually went on to partner with Gupta-linked entity Estina to run the project. This cost the Free State government hundreds of millions, most of which was siphoned off into the pockets of the Gupta family.

“I had done research to look at countries that are doing very well in milk production. We then compared the systems and models that they use for dairy production and processing. The model we felt came very close to what we were doing was the model in India, which was done by Paras,” he told the commission.

“I did the desktop research ... It was the type of model they (Paras) have been using. They have been collecting milk from small producers. Paras will send a tanker to collect the milk and bring it into their facilities for processing.

“That model is the one we envisaged, given the situation that we wanted to develop smallholder farmers. That is the model that led us to Paras versus other companies.”

Last year, Thabethe was arrested with seven others for fraud and contravening the Public Finance Management Act (PFMA). However, the charges were withdrawn by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

His testimony continues.

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