NEWS & ANALYSIS

Adv Batohi should reinstate Estina Vrede Dairy charges – Patricia Kopane

DA says new evidence shows R334m was distributed by Guptas and their friends in govt to various international banks

Adv Batohi should reinstate the Estina Vrede Dairy charges following new evidence

13 February 2019

The new head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Adv. Shamila Bitohi, now has a case to reinstate the Estina Vrede Dairy corruption charges following new compelling evidence that R334 million was distributed by the Guptas and their friends in government to various international banks, including the Bank of Baroda in India.

The DA will be writing to the National Director of Public Prosecutions, to make this plea. The rule of law must stand so that those who have stolen from our people are held fully accountable.

In light of insufficient evidence, the NPA had provisionally withdrawn the charges of theft, fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud, among other charges, levelled against the Gupta family and their business associates.

The DA trusts that Adv. Batohi will prove her independence and transparency in this matter by reinstating these charges which have contravened the Public Finance Management Act, contravened the Companies Act and contravened sections of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act.

The Free State Department of Agriculture was conveniently used as a cash cow for the benefit of the Gupta family, while the would be beneficiaries, in particular, black emerging farmers, were left to languish in poverty.

This is an indictment on the failing ANC government whose uncaring, criminal conduct has undermined land reform and only seeks to make South Africans permanent tenants on their land.

This is a clear indication that should Section 25 of the Constitution be amended, as advocated for by the failing ANC, the land reform process will only prove to be disastrous and the most vulnerable in our society would be hardest hit. Only the politically connected will benefit, while the people who should own land suffer.

We trust that the NPA will bring justice to the Vrede beneficiaries who have been robbed of their right to own land and produce in it by the very government that should have protected and provided for them.

The only way to restore dignity to the people is by empowering them with individual rights to land ownership which is what the DA is strongly advocating for. The DA is committed to sustainable land reform which contributes to food security and economic stability.

Under a DA-led government, those found to be corrupt will face at least 15 years in prison.

Issued by Patricia Kopane, DA Free State Premier Candidate, 13 February 2019