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Farmer claims intimidation by Zwane enforcers after Estina cattle death reports

Doctor Radebe made the allegation at the state capture commission of inquiry in Parktown on Thursday.

A screengrab of former Democratic Alliance councillor of Phumelele Municipality in Vrede Mr Doctor Radebe giving evidence at the state capture inquiry on 25 July 2019.

PRETORIA – An emerging farmer in the Free State has alleged he was attacked by thugs hired by the province's former Agriculture MEC Mosebenzi Zwane after he blew the whistle on the dying cattle at the Estina dairy farm in 2014.

Doctor Radebe made the allegation at the state capture commission of inquiry in Parktown on Thursday.

The commission has been focusing on the farm project, which was intended to benefit emerging farmers but was instead used as a vehicle to channel more than R200 million to a company linked to the Guptas.

Zwane has been identified as being central in facilitating the deal in order to benefit the controversial family.

Radebe said he raised the alarm five years ago.

"Then I went there myself to witness the situation and I found the cattle dumped in a stream of drinking water. After that, I immediately alerted the press."

Radebe says he was attacked and told not to interfere in African National Congress (ANC) business.

"People around Vrede became violently angry at me, as I was the one who reported the matter to the press. I was even attacked personally by a group of people who by the time that was Mr Zwane’s private force."

WATCH: Former DA councillor details Estina dairy farm operation