Free State government to study Vrede report
11:41 Tue, 21 May 2019
Free State government to study Vrede report | News Article
Photo: Cathy Dlodlo
The Free State Provincial Government says it would study Public Protector’s Report on the Estina Dairy Project and respond if necessary.

This follows after the Gauteng High Court on Monday, declared Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report on the Vrede dairy project unconstitutional and invalid.

Judge Ronel Tolmay ruled in favour of the Democratic Alliance and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) and set the report aside.

According to provincial spokesperson Tiisetso Makhele, the Free State Provincial Government shall, after receiving the judgement, study its contents and respond if necessary.

He says in a statement that unfortunately provincial government was not party to the case in question, as the applicants did not cite it as an interested party.

He added that they would continue to make practical steps and efforts in ensuring that they sharpen and deepen their commitment towards the principles of sound financial management and good governance.

He further promised the provincial government will cooperate with all authorities which conduct investigations within the jurisdiction

The Estina dairy Vrede project was meant to benefit about one hundred black farmers to the value of R200 million but the money never reached the beneficiaries. The farmers were promised five cows each in the interests of empowerment, however that did not happen.

It is alleged that the R200-million of public funds meant for the farmers was allegedly paid to the Gupta family via the farm, which in turn ended up contributing to funding the infamous family wedding held at Sun City in 2013.

Meanwhile, the EFF in the Free State have called for new investigations to be conducted on the controversial Dairy Project

On the other hand, Mkhwebane says she is considering her legal options – including a possible approach to the ConCourt , following the Court’s decision to set aside her report.

Ofm news/Michael Tlhakudi

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