Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo chairs the judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of state capture. Picture: Karen Sandison/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The Zondo commission will on Friday morning continue hearing testimony on the corruption allegations linked to the failed Vrede dairy farm project. 

Former Free State MEC of finance Elizabeth Cornella Rockman will take the stand on Thursday morning. 

Last month the commission heard from the former head of agriculture and rural development Peter Thabethe. 

When he appeared last month, the former head of agriculture in the Free State battled to account on how Estina, a Gupta-linked company, was chosen as a local partner for the Free State Vrede dairy farm even though the company lacked experience.
 
Thabethe battled to answer questions on whether he had interrogated Estina as the perfect partner for the project. 

He maintained that locally they checked on the company’s registration and tax compliance which was the only things that needed to be a line before a business deal could take place with the government. 

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Zondo appeared unconvinced by the explanation and pressed Thabethe on why a more an in-depth investigation was not done on Estina and whether it was legal or not. 

The Vrede dairy farm project was allocated over R200 million by the Free State government. Only 2% of the funds were allocated to the project and none of the small farmers who were meant to benefit saw any of the funds.

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