Accused in Estina Dairy Farm case granted bail

Former Oakbay chief executives Varun Gupta and Nazeem Howa, as well as current CEO Ronica Ragavan are among those in the dock.

FILE: The suspects in the Vrede Dairy Farm project case appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court on 15 February 2018. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – Seven of the eight suspects in the Estina Dairy Farm investigation have been granted bail ranging from R10,000 to R200,000.

The accused applied for bail in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court on Thursday where they face charges including fraud and money laundering.

Former Oakbay chief executives Varun Gupta and Nazeem Howa, as well as current CEO Ronica Ragavan are among those in the dock.

Three of the accused are senior officials in the Free State Agriculture Department.

Varun Gupta and three business associates were each granted bail of R200,000 while the three state officials were granted bail of R10,000 each.

The police are still trying to confirm the address of one of the accused leading to this matter being postponed.

All those in the dock told the court they intended pleading not guilty to the charges.

The State did not oppose bail and was satisfied that the accused did not pose a flight risk.

The matter has been postponed until August.