Johannesburg - The North Gauteng High Court is expected on Tuesday morning to hear the DA’s application to set aside the Public Protector’s report on the Vrede Dairy Farm Project which it believes was a white-wash.
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane received backlash for the report when she released it earlier this year. The criticism was largely based on the fact that critical politicians were not interviewed for the report.
The DA wants that report to be set aside by the High Court.
The Vrede Dairy Farm project was established by the Free State government to help uplift underprivileged farmers in the area.
The project was allocated R220 million and only R2 million was spent on the farm. None of the people who were destined to benefit received anything from the project.
The tender for the project was awarded to a company called Estina, which had links to the controversial Gupta family. The company was awarded the tender even though it had no history of running similar projects.
The Sunday Times reported how millions of rand that were paid to the Estina bank account were quickly paid out to various bank accounts belonging to Gupta owned companies. Atul Gupta also received R10 million in his bank account.
In her report, Mkhwebane found that the Free State department of agriculture was guilty of maladministration for its handling of the project.
She found that proper processes were not followed and that the tender agreement between Estina and the department was illegal.
She ordered that then-premier Ace Magashule should institute disciplinary action against officials who were involved in the project.