Plans to fund Estina dairy farm fast-tracked, says witness

A pattern is emerging at the State Capture Inquiry, about how plans to fund the infamous Estina Dairy Project was fast-tracked at a staggering rate. Courtesy of #DSTV403

JOHANNESBURG - A pattern is emerging at the state capture inquiry about how plans to fund the infamous Estina Dairy Farm project was fast-tracked at a staggering rate.

A witness has testified how councillors approved a resolution on the failed project on the same day as it was presented to them.

The Gupta-linked programme was meant to benefit emerging farmers, who were then sidelined.

WATCH: Estina in spotlight as state capture inquiry continues

Former Phumelela municipality manager Moses Moremi testified on the background of the farm Krynauwlust which indicated irregularities before the dairy farm project was initiated.

The holding was in municipal trust before 1994 and was then dissolved in 2011 for R8-million.

Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo said steps should be taken to investigate whether corruption was involved in the rent collection of the farm.

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Peter Thabethe, then Head of the Department of Agriculture, reportedly announced the project would employ 500 permanent employees while partnering with an Indian company, Paras.

The initial investment in the project would be approximately R500-million.

Moremi stated the council made the decision to resolve on the project without deliberation and the presentation explaining the project took place outside of an official council meeting.