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Zondo Inquiry wants former MEC Rockman to clarify R815m irregular expenditure

Elizabeth Rockman concluded her testimony on Thursday confirming that the province paid the money to agents like Estina.

Former Free State Finance MEC Elizabeth Rockman. Picture: YouTube screengrab.

JOHANNESBURG - The state capture commission wants former Free State Finance MEC Elizabeth Rockman to submit more evidence to clarify irregular expenditure amounting to R815 million some of which went to the Vrede Dairy Farm Project.

Rockman concluded her testimony on Thursday confirming that the province paid the money to agents like Estina.

But she had difficulty explaining why her department approved the irregular expenditure.

Rockman confirmed that it was common practice for implementing agents to be paid millions in the Free State.

“Just over R311 million was noted as possible irregular expenditures regarding Vrede dairy in the financial year 2017/2018. In the same year, there was irregular expenditure regarding implementing agents that come up to R815 million which was accumulative from the 2011/2012 financial year.”

She said the Vrede dairy farm was just one of many such projects that accumulated millions in unaccounted expenditure.

“That precedent had already been created; if it’s R10 million, then we transfer R10 million. The moment the funds were transferred, it became unrequited funds seized to be public money. So, no one followed that public trail.”

The commission has requested Rockman to submit more evidence with details.

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