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Funds allocated to Estina were not classified correctly, Zondo hears

Treasury’s former deputy director general in the Free State Anna Fourie outlined how Estina was contracted as a service provider and beneficiary against public financial management principles.

 YouTube screengrab of Treasury’s former deputy director-general in the Free State, Anna Sussana Fourie, giving evidence at the state capture inquiry on 12 August 2019.

JOHANNESBURG - Treasury’s former deputy director general in the Free State Anna Fourie said after refusing to make a payment of R30 million to Estina without documents, she was no longer involved in the matter until the project was abandoned in 2014.

Fourie gave evidence at the state capture commission of inquiry on Monday on the Vrede dairy farm where Gupta-linked Estina allegedly siphoned R200 million that was intended for small farmers.

She outlined how Estina was contracted as a service provider and beneficiary against public financial management principles.

Fourie said after telling a chief financial officer of agriculture that she couldn’t sign off on a R30 million payment and reporting the matter to state lawyers, she had no knowledge of what happened in Vrede.

“The matter was dealt with by the department and state law advisers and I was not involved in any further payments.”

Fourie clarified how funds that were supposed to go to farmers were transferred to Estina but not classified correctly.

“The cattle, equipment and so forth on the farm was not yet given to a beneficiary and because of that, there should have been control of the assets.

Asked if failure to exercise control over assets could be characterised as some form of misconduct, Fourie said yes.

She said the contract signed was valued at R114 million a year but in the first year, there was already a shortfall of R84 million.

WATCH: Estina dairy farm in focus as Zondo commission resumes