MECs should account for failed Vrede project: Cope

Dairy cows on the farm during a site visit by the leader of the DA, Mmusi Maimane to the Vrede Dairy farm that was run by Gupta company Estina, 12 July 2017. It was intended to benefit the communiy but has been alleged to be a front for money laundering and also alleged to have been the source of funds for the Gupta wedding. Photo: Neil McCartney
The Congress of the People (COPE) wants all MECs who worked during the former Free State Premier Ace Magashule’s tenure to take full responsibility of alleged fraud, corruption and money laundering.

OFM News reports, Cope spokesperson, Dennis Bloem, says Magashule was not alone “when the alleged grand scale looting (which includes) the controversial Estina Dairy Farm Project and the multimillion-rand Asbestos Project was made”.

This follows comments allegedly made by the former premier on former President Jacob Zuma’s tenure – which has been widely criticized following allegations of state capture.

In an interview with Newz Room Afrika, Magashule is alleged to have said that the former president was not alone when all decisions were made in Cabinet.

Bloem further says by making such comments Magashule agrees with them that he was not alone and all former Free State MECs must approach the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into state capture.

“We are surprised that all these former MECs are quiet and not telling the people of the Free State why the province is bankrupt.

Former MEC, Mxolisi Dukwana, directly implicated Magashule in Free State corruption during his testimony at the commission.

Former Agriculture MEC Mosebenzi Zwane is among those linked to the alleged looting of the dairy funds in the province. He has since on several occasions rubbished the claims that he and Magashule looted millions directed toward the project.

So far two people have been charged with fraud, corruption and money laundering following an investigation by the Hawks, which involves the controversial R244 million Vrede dairy project.

Those were arrested by the Hawks include former Free State Agriculture Chief Financial Officer Seipati Sylvia Dlamini and Malikomo Mohapi.

The two have since been granted R10 000 bail each and the case has been postponed to 10 September 2020 for a High Court date.