Takisi Janki Masiteng, Ronica Raghavan and Varun Gupta are among eight suspects who appeared at the Bloemfontein Magistrate's court in connection with charges of fraud and corruption related to the controversial Vrede dairy farm project. Picture: Matthews Baloyi/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - The DA on Wednesday said the reasons behind the NPA's decision to provisionally withdraw its case against the accused in the Estina dairy farm matter were "flimsy" and "unconvincing".

Earlier, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) announced it would be dropping criminal charges against the Guptas and their business associates after it failed to complete its investigation and prepare a final indictment against the accused which include Varun Gupta, a nephew of the Gupta brothers, Oakbay CEO Ronica Ragavan. Ashu Chawla a former Sahara executive, Estina director Kamal Vasram and former The New Age editor Nazeem Howa. 

Three Free State government officials, Peter Thabethe, Sylvia Dlamini and Takisi Masiteng were also charged. 

DA shadow minister of Justice Glynnis Breytenbach in a statement said the DA noted the decision by the prosecuting authority. 

"The reasons provided on the decision to withdraw the matter are flimsy at best, and wholly unconvincing.The DA will take it up with the current acting National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Dr Silas Ramaite.   

"The NPA has no forensic accounting capacity, and never has had. This function has always been outsourced to private companies, by the SAPS. This is a function of SAPS."

Breytenbach further said: "State capture is a crime committed against the people of South Africa. The Estina matter is a particularly good example of the impact that this phenomenon has on the most vulnerable members of our society. The Gupta family and their associates still in the ANC parliamentary benches, in this instance, literally stole from the poor to give to the rich and line the pockets of those politically connected to the ANC."

She added that allowing those implicated to get away with this will be an even greater crime and will send out the message that SA is a country where there is no accountability for the powerful and connected political elite.

"South Africans deserve better than being robbed and then having to watch the thieves run off into the sunset while a leaderless NPA sits by and does nothing," she said.

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