NPA confident of securing convictions in Estina case despite court ruling

The NPA’s Luvuyo Mfaku says the AFU did not present all the evidence contained in the docket when applying for the preservation order.

FILE: The suspects in the Vrede dairy farm project case appear in the Bloemfontein magistrates court on 15 February 2018. Picture: Barry Bateman/EWN

PRETORIA – The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says although the High Court ruling in the Estina dairy farm matter is a setback, it has no bearing on the strength of the criminal case against the seven accused.

The High Court in Bloemfontein ruled on Monday that there is no reasonable grounds to be believe that the accused in the Estina matter may be successfully prosecuted on the evidence presented in court.

The Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) had obtained a preservation order against assets worth an estimated R250 million linked to Gupta-linked companies, their four directors and three Free State government officials.

The NPA’s Luvuyo Mfaku says the AFU did not present all the evidence contained in the docket when applying for the preservation order.

“We’ve got a criminal docket that contains evidence that will be adduced on the day of trial and our prosecutors are confident that the order of yesterday, that in no way that has any bearing in the criminal matter.”

He says they remain confident of securing a conviction against the accused.

Mafaku says the AFU will soon apply for a R120 million asset forfeiture order but did not provide further details.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)