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R280m paid to Estina for Vrede dairy farm between 2013-2016, Zondo Inquiry told

This was part of the evidence by former head of the Free State Agriculture Department Peter Thabethe.

A YouTube screengrab shows Peter Thabethe, the former head of the Free State Agriculture Department, at the state capture inquiry on 4 October 2019.

JOHANNESBURG - The state capture inquiry has documents that show R280 million was paid to Estina for the Vrede dairy farm between 2013 to 2016.

This was part of the evidence by former head of the Free State Agriculture Department Peter Thabethe.

Thabethe was implicated in approving payments that did not comply with procurement procedures, but he denied this.

Thabethe was proud to say that during his tenure, and during the Vrede dairy farm project's time, his department received some clean audits.

"Chair, in that particular year we got unqualified audits. They said to us, your financial statements are excellent," he told the commission.

The commission's Advocate Leah Gcabashe detailed the payments that Estina received over that period.

"R280 million, R202,652... so essentially R280 million is what they were paid."

Thabethe is expected to explain how Estina paid its more than R200 million contribution when it only had R16 in its account at the beginning of the project.

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