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Zondo criticises former Free State agriculture head over Estina project

The commission resumed this week after a two-week break, and it's spent the week focusing on the Estina Dairy project in the Free State.

A screengrab of Deputy Chief justice Raymond Zondo at the state capture commission of inquiry. Picture: YouTube.

JOHANNESBURG - Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has criticised one of the witnesses at the state capture commission he heads.

The commission resumed this week after a two-week break, and it's spent the week focusing on the Estina Dairy project in the Free State.

The project was meant to help emerging farmers but was used to funnel R200 million to Gupta-linked companies.

Zondo told the former head of the Free State Agriculture Department that his team had not done enough to verify whether the Estina company was registered in South Africa and was tax compliant.

Zondo was not impressed with the way the Free State Agriculture Department handled the project.

He expressed his disappointment to the department’s former head Peter Thabethe.

“You were trusted to make the right decisions and to the right things with taxpayers’ money.”

Thabethe defended their actions and said they were only following government regulations.

“In government, there were regulations on how it was supposed to be done. We limit ourselves to that.”
The commission will resume on Monday.