WATCH LIVE | State capture: Estina dairy farm testimony continues

28 October 2019 - 09:55 By timeslive

The commission of inquiry into state capture continues to hear Vrede-related testimony from the former head of the Free State agriculture department, Peter Thabethe.

Thabethe is giving details about the Vrede dairy farm project and its links with the Guptas.

The agriculture department withheld a R53m grant to Free State for the controversial Estina dairy project because the project could not provide a feasibility study, business plan or water-use licence.

But the national department was initially sold on the idea and was excited that it would benefit 100 farmers in the Vrede area. It approved the funding on this basis, but later withdrew it after the National Treasury warned the department that the project was dodgy.

This is according to Elder Mtshiza, the agriculture, land reform and rural development programme management co-ordinator. 

Mtshiza said representatives of the Free State agriculture department approached them in 2013 for funds from the Comprehensive Agricultural Support Programme grant.

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