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Mosebenzi Zwane and the Vrede Dairy Project: Like a cat on a hot tin roof

Today the Minister of Mineral Resources, Mosebenzi Zwane, appeared before the parliamentary committee for mineral resources and was like a cat on a hot tin roof trying to conceal his role in state capture, specifically with regard to the Vrede Dairy Project, says Wouter Wessels, FF Plus MPL in the Free State Legislature.

According to Zwane, the FF Plus and other opposition parties supported the Vrede Dairy Project, which cost tax payers nearly R570 million and financed, amongst other things, a Gupta wedding.

Wessels says that it is a “blatant lie”. In principle, though, the FF Plus was in favour of the Department’s development program that was earmarked for agricultural processing in the Free State.

“The FF Plus is in favour of adding value to the agricultural industry in die Free State and therefore these projects, as presented to the parties by the former MEC of Agriculture, were accepted on principle.

“The Vrede Dairy Project as such was never presented to the parties and it certainly was not known that an implementation agent with Gupta ties (Estina Edms Bpk), would be used to implement the project. In effect, the project meant nothing to the people that were supposed to benefit from it.

“Millions of rands of tax money have been leaked to overseas Gupta bank accounts and, amongst other things, Zwane went on a Gupta-financed trip to India after he approved the controversial project as the former MEC of Agriculture in the Free State.

“He is being blatantly dishonest with the parliamentary committee because he is in a bind,” says Wessels.

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