State Capture Chairperson Judge Zondo. Picture: Simphiwe Mbokazi/African News Agency(ANA)

Johannesburg - The Zondo commission will on Monday morning hear evidence from the former chief director in the office of the minister in the presidency Brent Simons. 

The commission will also hear evidence from the former chief of staff in the ministry in the presidency Abegnigo Hlugwani. 

Last week the commission dealt with corruption allegations involving the failed Free State Vrede dairy farm project. 

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. 

Peter Thabethe, a retired former head of the department of agriculture, returned for a second day on the stand on Friday at the Zondo commission.

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 in line before a business deal could take place with the government.

Zondo appeared unconvinced by the explanation and pressed Thabethe on why a more 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.