Court to rule on application to postpone Estina dairy farm case

The five Gupta associates and three Free State government officials appeared in the court last week.

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 Regional Court in Bloemfontein will on Tuesday hand down judgment in the State's application to postpone the case against the eight accused in the Estina dairy farm matter.

The five Gupta associates and three Free State government officials appeared in the court last week.

The Hawks arrested the eight in February when they appeared in court for the first time on charges, including fraud and money laundering.

Defence advocates for the eight accused told the Bloemfontein Regional Court that the State should have conducted a complete and thorough investigation before arresting and charging the accused.

They argue that they are prejudiced by having the case hanging over their heads.

The prosecutor told the court that investigators are in the process of securing additional evidence from India and the United Arab Emirates through an application for mutual legal assistance.

The court further heard how hundreds of witness and bank statements have already been gathered.

The prosecutor has asked the court to postpone the matter for three to six months in order to finalise its investigation.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)