Free State Provincial Government delays justice for the Vrede Dairy beneficiaries
17 June 2021
The Democratic Alliance (DA) will not rest until there is justice for the beneficiaries of the Verde Dairy Project. The Free State Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) has used Covid-19, among others, as an excuse to postpone the DA case brought against them by the DA regarding the Vrede Dairy Project beneficiaries. The legal proceedings were meant to proceed today (17 June 2021) in the Bloemfontein High Court.
The DA reverted to the courts to force the DARD to recognise and include the beneficiaries in the project. For eight years the rightful beneficiaries of the project were denied justice by being side-lined and excluded. Many have already passed away and will sadly never benefit from this project.
While the beneficiaries were denied justice for almost a decade, the uncaring provincial government is now ensuring that justice for them is being delayed . The DA will however not allow justice to be derailed, and will pursue this case until the beneficiaries have a favourable outcome. Besides this civil case, the DA also requested the SIU to investigate various crimes relating to the roles of politicians who were the political architects of this project.
The DA requested the Public Protector (PP) to investigate this project six years ago and then took the PP to court to ensure that the poorly investigated initial report is reviewed. The PP’s review report confirmed the roles of various politicians such as former Premier Ace Magashule and various MEC’s in maladministration and possible criminal conduct.
The DARD should have conceded to the DA’s initial legitimate request to include the beneficiaries in the project, which was also a strong recommendation in the PP reviewed PP report. The DARD is adamant to continue to abuse taxpayers funds in further attempts to victimise the beneficiaries through their continued exclusion. These same beneficiaries were shamelessly abused by officials and politicians to legitimise the allocation of hundreds of millions of Rands to this Gupta-linked project, much of which is alleged to have been stolen.
There is no greater crime that politicians can commit than to give people hope of a better life, and then to steal this hope from them.
The DA will ensure that the candle of hope continues to burn brightly for the destitute and impoverished beneficiaries of this project and many other people like them in the Free State. The DA remains the only caring, non-racial and principled alternative government in the Free State.
Statement issued by Dr Roy Jankielsohn MPL - Leader of the Opposition in the Free State, 17 June 2021