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State capture spotlight returns to Vrede dairy farm scandal

The Free State’s former Agriculture and Rural Development head of department Peter Thabethe is set to return to the stand.

A YouTube screengrab shows Peter Thabethe, the former head of the Free State Agriculture Department, at the state capture inquiry on 20 August 2019.

JOHANNESBURG - The state capture commission turns its attention back to the Vrede dairy farm scandal on Monday.

The Free State’s former Agriculture and Rural Development head of department Peter Thabethe is set to return to the stand.

Last month, he told the commission about how taxpayers’ money was wasted on the farming project.

Thabethe is expected to face tough questions when he takes the stand at the commission once more.

Last month, he denied allegations of mismanagement when he signed off the on the disastrous Vrede dairy farm project.

The initiative was aimed at benefitting emerging farmers but instead ended up being used as a vehicle to siphon millions of rand to companies, including those owned by the Gutpa family.

During his testimony, Thabethe came under heavy criticism from deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo for failing to properly follow set protocols when he gave the go-ahead for the scheme.

The hearing is expected to get under way at 10am.