South Africa: Zondo Commission Shifts to Gupta-Linked Estina Dairy Farm Project

The judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture will resume its work on Monday and will hear testimony related to the collapsed Gupta-linked Estina dairy farm project in Vrede.

The commission, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, will hear testimony from a member of the Free State legislature, Roy Jankielsohn.

The deputy director of corporate administration and co-ordination in the Free State premier's office, Albertus Venter, will also be giving testimony.

One hundred black emerging farmers were promised five cows each as part of the empowerment scheme but never received them, according to News24.

Gifted to Estina in 2013 under a free 99-year lease by the provincial agriculture department, the farm has been one of the most scandalous transactions between the Guptas and a government entity.

#GuptaLeaks

The #GuptaLeaks revealed how at least R30m paid to the Guptas via the farm ended up funding the family's lavish Sun City wedding in 2013.

"The legal team is in the process of identifying and/or consulting with other witnesses who will be called to appear before the commission over the next few weeks," the commission's spokesperson, Reverend Mbuyiselo Stemela, said.

The Zondo commission had an eventful week when former president Jacob Zuma's appeared before it. Last Monday, Zuma resumed his testimony that he started with an hour-and-a-half introduction in which he made damning claims and allegations of "character assassination".

During proceedings on Wednesday, his legal team, however, raised concerns that Zuma was brought to the commission under false pretences and was being cross-examined on matters.

This saw the commission adjourning to Friday to allow the commission's legal team and that of Zuma's to come to an understanding.

On Friday, his legal team said it would be pulling out but after a consultation process in Zondo's chambers, they backtracked on the decision to withdraw from the commission.

Zuma agreed to return to testify on a date that had not yet been determined, News24 reported.

Source: News24

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