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Suspects linked to Estina Dairy farm fraud to appear in court

The Hawks swooped on the Gupta family’s Saxonwold compound on Wednesday as well as several other residences and business properties.

The courtroom at the Bloemfontein magistrates court where suspects, including a member of the Gupta family, are expected to appear on 15 February 2018. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN

PRETORIA – At least five suspects linked to the Estina dairy farm fraud and corruption investigation are expected to appear in the Bloemfontein magistrates court on Thursday morning.

The Hawks swooped on the Gupta family’s Saxonwold compound on Wednesday as well as several other residences and business properties.

While some suspects were arrested, others handed themselves over to the authorities.

It’s unclear if more will be added to the charge sheet today.

Members of the Economic Freedom Fighters and Democratic Alliance have gathered outside to witness the first appearance of at least five suspects in what is seen as the first real action against state capture.

The Hawks have remained tight-lipped on the identities of the suspects but it’s understood at least one of them is from the Gupta family.

The court is expected to hear a formal bail application and see the State push for strict conditions because some of the suspects are considered flights risks.

The arrests on Wednesday follow recent raids on the Free State Agriculture Department as well as Premier Ace Magashule’s office.

The Asset Forfeiture Unit has also attached the dairy farm in Vrede and bank accounts linked to Estina.

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