Political leaders must also be prosecuted for Vrede Dairy Project
14 February 2018
The FF Plus welcomes the arrest of Peter Thabethe, former Head of the Department of the Free State Department of Agriculture, but demands that all political leaders that were involved in the scandal must be arrested and be called to account.
On Wednesday morning, the Hawks conducted simultaneous raids on the Gupta’s mansion in Saxonwold, Johannesburg, and Thabethe’s house in Bloemfontein, after which Thabethe was arrested and Ajay Gupta was allegedly taken in for questioning.
It is, however, disturbing that only one official that was involved in the scandal, which cost Free State tax payers nearly R570 million, was arrested. Numerous political leaders were also involved in the jobbery.
The Department of the Premier approved and signed off on the controversial contract with Estina.
The former MEC for the Department of Agriculture, Mosebenzi Zwane, selected the location for the project, namely Vrede, which is Zwane’s hometown.
Premier Ace Magashule and various other members of the Provincial Cabinet also defended the project for years on end, despite the Auditor-General (AG) and opposition parties’ repeated objections and their warnings of large-scale money squandering.
The FF Plus demands that urgent legal action be taken against all who were involved and not just the Department officials. We will not allow all the blame for the Vrede Dairy Project to be put on the shoulders of one junior official. Everyone that was involved must be prosecuted, especially the senior politicians that benefited most.
Issued by Wouter Wessels, FF Plus MP, 14 February 2018