Mkhwebane’s report on Vrede Dairy Project declared unconstitutional

Public Protector Adv Busisiwe Mkhwebane. PHOTO: JACQUES NELLES

The High Court in Pretoria on Monday declared Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane’s report on the Vrede Dairy Project unconstitutional and invalid.
The court application was brought by the Democratic Alliance (DA) and the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac).
The DA believed Mkhwebane’s investigative report of the farm project was a “whitewash” as implicated politicians were never interviewed and thus escaped scrutiny.
At least R200 million in public funds meant for emerging black farmers in Vrede allegedly flowed to Estina, a company linked to the controversial Gupta family.
Some of the money was allegedly used to pay for the Guptas’ lavish family wedding at Sun City resort in 2013.
The parties argued in October last year that Mkhwebane had not acted prudently in her probe and had failed to investigate senior politicians implicated in corruption and money-laundering that sank the agriculture project.
Mkhwebane rubbished claims that she sanitised a provisional report on the Estina project, compiled during the tenure of her predecessor, Thuli Madonsela, to protect Free State politicians from the African National Congress (ANC). – The Citizen