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Thabete admits FS taken for ride over R106m Vrede dairy farm processing plant

Peter Thabethe took the stand once again at the state capture commission of inquiry on Monday.

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 - Former Free State Agriculture head Peter Thabethe has admitted that the province was taken for a ride after paying R106 million for the Vrede dairy farm processing plant.

Thabethe took the stand once again at the state capture commission of inquiry on Monday.

He told the commission that the money was paid to Estina for equipment and a sub-standard processing plant.

A 2017 report commissioned by the department to look into the farm, detailed how valves, taps and pumps were outdated.

Thabethe agreed that when they saw the tanks that were said to be from India, they had rusted.

“We were party-shareholding when we went into the project that they were putting up. If it wasn’t done properly, the beneficiation would have also been compromised.”