I didn’t know Estina was contracted to Vrede dairy farm project, says Mosebenzi Zwane
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Former Mineral Resources minister Mosebenzi Zwane claims he didn’t know Estina was contracted to the infamous dairy farm project in Vrede, Free State.
Zwane returned to the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture on Thursday where he answered questions relating to his tenure as the Free State MEC for agriculture.
It is alleged the Gupta family began laundering money for more than a year through the Estina dairy farm project.
The commission previously heard from Shadow World Investigations’ researcher Paul Holden, based in London, that the Guptas laundered the R287 million the fugitive and controversial family received for the Estina dairy farm project in a complex manner to make it appear as if they had tripled the amount.
The Free State Estina dairy farm project was meant to empower emerging farmers in the area.
But Zwane claimed he had no knowledge Estina was contracted to the flagship project.
Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo questioned Zwane's oversight capabilities as MEC.
“I find it difficult to understand that on a project that is so important to the province and your department, and given that you could have been questioned about the project at any time, you didn't know that Estina played a role in the project,” Zondo said.
Zwane replied that in his oversight role, he only acted upon documents that were brought to him by his subordinates.
However, Zondo again questioned Zwane's responsibilities.
“Are you saying as an MEC who plays an oversight role, you must only look at what documents officials have given to you? You don't request or look at other documents that are relevant to the project?” Zondo asked.
The Inquiry continues.