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Tender processes not followed for Estina dairy project, inquiry told

Anna Sussana Fourie was leading evidence at the state capture commission of inquiry on the Vrede dairy farm project.

A 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 – National Treasury’s former deputy director-general in the Free State, Anna Sussana Fourie, on Monday said she was shocked when she was called out of a farewell party to process a R30 million payment for the Estina dairy project.

Fourie was leading evidence at the state capture commission of inquiry on the Vrede dairy farm project on Monday.

She started speaking about the various departments that were established to oversee financial management in the province. But Fourie said when the provincial Treasury CEO instructed her to make the payment, she discovered that no documents were attached to support the instruction and tender processes were not followed.

“Estina submitted a proposal on 15 May 2012, from that I then asked the chief financial officer of the Department of Agriculture, which means there was not a tender process followed for the appointment. The appointment was done based on the proposal that was submitted, which he confirmed,” she said.

WATCH: Estina dairy farm in focus as Zondo Commission resumes

Fourie also said the State attorney had agreed with her as far back as 2012 that the project’s contract was invalid.

She said she approached them after being asked to process the payment without the necessary documents.

Advocate Leah Gcabashe asked Fourie about the 2012 transaction: “If we accept that the contract with Estina committed R114 million per annum over three years, would it be correct to say that within the first year, that being 2012-2013, there would be a shortfall of R84 million because only R30 million had been budgeted for?”

Fourie responded: “That’s correct.”

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